Saying the result of the faculty referendum on the leadership of Baylor University President Robert Sloan “sheds no new light on the fact that a segment of faculty do not agree with the current administration of the university,” Baylor Board of Regents Chairman Will D. Davis called on both sides Tuesday to continue to reach out.
The results of the controversial referendum on Sloan’s leadership were released late Monday night.
Eighty-five percent of the faculty members who participated voted “no” to the question “Do you want Robert B. Sloan to remain as president of Baylor University.”
Almost 60 percent of the faculty eligible to participate in the referendum voted, but 40 percent stayed away.
It’s not clear whether those who did were influenced by a public call for a boycott of the referendum, or whether they shared the concerns of some faculty members who said privately they would not participate because they feared retribution.
The Baylor Faculty Senate, which sponsored the referendum after taking two no-confidence votes against Sloan in September 2003 and May 2004, said the results refute the assertion that “opposition to President Sloan’s leadership was limited to a small vocal group of faculty.”
But the group of professors who called on their colleagues to boycott the referendum disagreed.
“Despite the Senate’s claims of an ‘avalanche of faculty grievances’ and ‘a deeply polarized and relationally paralyzed Baylor community,’ it appears that plenty of folks are content enough with the university’s ambitious vision under Dr. Sloan’s presidency,” the group said in release that was e-mailed before the results of the vote were publicly announced.
The results are not binding and any decision on Sloan’s future rests with Baylor’s Board of Regents, which voted 18-17 in May to retain Sloan as president.
The Regents earlier rejected the Faculty Senate’s request for the referendum.
“I would remind all Baylor constituents that the Board of Regents has the sole responsibility for determining who serves as president of the university,” Davis said in prepared statement released Tuesday morning.
“I hope that the administration will continue to make progress in reaching out to faculty to address their concerns and that the faculty will reciprocate.”
(Source: Baylor University Faculty Senate)
Votes Cast: 490 (59% of eligible voters)
Blank Ballots: 3 (1% of votes cast)
For Retaining Dr. Sloan: 69 (14% of votes cast)
Against Retaining Dr. Sloan: 418 (85% of votes cast)