The Faculty Senate of UWG voted no confidence in the leadership of President Dr. Brendan Kelly.
After nearly a five-hour meeting on Oct. 16, the senate ruled its vote of no confidence in a 32 to 14 majority with five senators abstaining their vote. The senate decided to move to a general faculty vote that will be voted on Nov. 2-9. The senators shared many reasons they voted no confidence in Kelly, including lack of communication, disrespect toward the institution’s past and fear of retaliation for speaking out.
“I cannot support a president who would not openly discuss this fear and assure our colleagues that retaliation in any form is not tolerated in any way on our campus,” said Dr. N. Jane McCandless, professor of Sociology at UWG, in the meeting on Friday.
Kelly addressed many different concerns and claims in the meeting. He previously denied his lack of communication with the faculty.
“I am disappointed there are so many questions about my leadership and decisions that have been made,” said Kelly. “Quite frankly, I am even more disappointed that there is a document that is communicating so much information that is just simply not accurate.”
Kelly later made it clear that he is not disappointed in the faculty for expressing their views on his leadership.
“I am disappointed in myself because I am a part of the reason that exists,” said Kelly.
The vote was made after a petition was written anonymously by someone in the staff. The petition outlined the reasons why they believe Kelly should receive a vote of no confidence. The Faculty Senate made it clear in the meeting on Friday that the vote was on the confidence in Kelly’s leadership not the letter.
The vote was held in a Zoom meeting where a roll call voice vote was made after requested by a member. After the vote, the Senate made a decision to send the vote to the general faculty. The vote will be a motion of three options: yes being in favor of the no confidence, no, opposing the no confidence and abstain. If the vote with the general faculty permits, the determination would then be given to the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. The general faculty consist of 512 full time faculty members, and the general faculty vote will be made official Nov 9.
No matter the result of the general faculty vote, the Faculty Senate expresses its hope for, and commitment to, healing and moving UWG forward.