I had not heard that some faculty and their union had such a problem with the President of Western Michigan University, Edward Montgomery.  The faculty’s Union, AAUP, voted last week to take a voice of no confidence.  

At the WMU-AAUP Nov. 19th Association Council meeting, the faculty no-confidence working group’s presentation gave the following reasons for a vote of no confidence:

  • “continuing dramatic drops in enrollment even as some similar Michigan institutions have begun to boast of impressive enrollment increases
  • a significant decline in WMU’s national rankings that coincides with the current president’s time in office
  • radical academic restructuring projects initiated without proper consultation with faculty, staff, and students
  • a drop in faculty and staff morale that seems at least partly attributable to unjustified staffing shortages, unreasonable workloads, and perceived indifference by WMU leaders to faculty and staff concerns
  • an expensive top-down rebranding initiative that has brought embarrassing national attention to WMU
  • a failure to properly prioritize and resource WMU’s academic mission and infrastructure even in the wake of a record-breaking $550 million private donation”

I spoke about this on my radio show yesterday and received the following email from an employee at Western Michigan University:

“Renk,

I just heard you read some of the article regarding the no vote of confidence for President Montgomery.  First, I would say that the period by which WMU went through the whole "reduction is staff" in my opinion was terrible (2020).  It did affect morale as we didn't know from week to week if we were next on the chopping block.  They cut all our Admin 1's from the college that I work at, and we are required to now do the job of two positions.  Those who had seniority (years worked) and whose job was cut, could "bump" someone else with the same job but less seniority.  It was awful.  I would give President Montgomery an F on that whole process.  But.....as far as the COVID protocols, I feel WMU has done a fantastic job in not mandating employees to get the vaccine but testing once a week.  I would give President Montgomery an A+ for how he has handled this situation.  End result....you can't make everyone happy!!”

As a radio talk show host, I certainly know you cannot “make everyone happy”.

Is this the Union making this move for some other reason than what is being stated?  Only they know.

The vote will be taken by this Friday.  Good luck President Montgomery.

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