Academic Senate votes “no confidence” in trustees and Johnson

The Dec. 6 Academic Senate meeting was held in Debartolo Hall. Photo by Molly Burke / The Jambar

By Molly Burke

Youngstown State University’s Academic Senate passed two votes of no confidence against the board of trustees and YSU’s incoming president, U.S. Rep. William “Bill” Johnson, on Dec. 16 

According to a press release from the faculty union, YSU-OEA, the first resolution stated “no confidence in the presidential search process as led by Youngstown State University Board of Trustees and YSU President of Student Affairs, Institutional Effectiveness, and Board Professional Mike Sherman.” 

The resolution added that the process was misleading and lacked transparency and shared governance between the board and YSU community. It was approved with a vote of 60-13, with four senators abstaining.

The second resolution stated “no confidence in the President Designee Bill Johnson.” It also listed concerns of Johnson’s qualifications, his lack of interaction with campus stakeholders throughout the hiring process and his stance on YSU’s mission of maintaining inclusivity, diversity and equity on campus. It was passed with a vote of 45-23, with nine senators abstaining. 

Amanda Fehlbaum, associate professor of sociology and senator, presented the resolutions at the senate’s Dec. 6 meeting, allowing senators over a week to vote. 

“The process for moving these resolutions forward and having them approved by Senate was a transparent, inclusive, democratic process that all universities should follow. They were drafted in caucus, debated in the Senate, amended and voted on. The YSU community deserved a similarly open, inclusive process for choosing YSU’s president,” Fehlbaum stated in the press release. 

Since Johnson’s selection, the YSU Foundation, YSU-OEA, Student Government Association, major donors and several notable alumni such as Ed O’Neill and Nanette Lapore have spoken out against the process.

The resolutions can be read on the Academic Senate’s website

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