AAUP postpones vote

The AAUP decided Monday to postpone the vote of no confidence planned for next week.

The Oakland chapter of AAUP had planned to hold a vote of no confidence March 24-31 in regards to Oakland University President Gary Russi’s job performance and whether he has come through on promises made in the last year.

A 24-hour poll was held Monday. The online poll garnered the opinions of 352 of the 729 eligible faculty.

The highest percentage of voters, 43.8 percent, were in favor of postponing the vote of no confidence until the following school year.

“This is the course of action the AAUP Executive Committee will follow,” Scott Barns, executive director of AAUP, said in a statement.

No date has been set for the next vote.

About a third of those polled were in favor of holding the vote next week while roughly 25 percent wanted to cancel the vote altogether.

This is the second time a planned vote of no confidence has been put on hold.

“I was very pleased to learn that a majority of the faculty who voted feel we are making progress in resolving the concerns raised over the last year,” said Russi. “I want to see this progress continue, so we’ll keep the lines of communication open and continue to look for ways we can work together in the best interests of the university and our students.”

AAUP originally scheduled the vote in November 2009 but canceled it to allow Russi to make good on promises he made  at an open faculty forum that month to quell rumors and alleviate tensions.

The vote was then rescheduled for next week by AAUP officials.

Russi held another open faculty forum March 11, in which he outlined the progress that’s been made in the last year as well as future plans of action.

He also fielded further questions from faculty members at the forum.

“As the time of the vote approached, some members suggested that opinions might have changed since last term,” said Karen Miller, vice president and spokesperson of AAUP.

AAUP said it will continue to monitor whether Russi follows through on his promises.

Russi stated  after learning of the postponement that he thought that he shared a common objective with the faculty, despite “some important differences and difficult challenges” that have been faced.