Letter to the editor: Friends of OU

By Katie Wolf

Dear Editor,

A no-confidence vote in President Russi’s leadership has been called for. It is to be conducted online from March 26 to 31. We believe this vote should not have been called without adequate prior consultation with the eligible Oakland University faculty. We believe a no-confidence vote is not in the best interests of theOakland University community. Consequently, we ask the AAUP Executive Committee to consider abandoning the no-confidence vote. Here is our reasoning.

We believe that even President Russi’s most severe critics would acknowledge that he has made numerous positive contributions to the advancement of Oakland University over the course of his tenure. Under President Russi’s leadership, and through the work of the faculty, staff, and students, Oakland has advanced from a quality small regional commuter school into a nationally recognized university with international programs. In no small measure, President Russi is responsible for leading and directing this advancement.

There is an excitement in the community regarding Oakland’s growth and development. Oakland has established and nourished many partnerships with educational, cultural, and business organizations. The approval of the School of Medicine is the most recent evidence of academic progress. There has been significant growth in the student body and a concomitant increase in the full-time faculty and staff. Because of the outstanding quality of the faculty and staff, Oakland has increasingly become a first-choice university for our students.

We believe that a no-confidence vote will certainly have the potential to damage the good reputation Oakland University has acquired. Further, we believe a no-confidence vote on President Russi’s leadership lacks merit. He has made a good-faith effort to address faculty concerns. We also believe the AAUP and the administration can amicably resolve issues that involve faculty-administration differences.  Therefore, we ask you to consider joining us in opposing the proposed no-confidence vote.

Signed,

Friends of OU

Monahar Das, Professor of Electrical Engineering

Mary Karasch, Professor of History

Gopalan Srinivasan, Distinguished Professor of

Physics

Richard Stamps, Professor of Anthropology

Kristin Dayag, Student Body President

Samon Waquad, Student Body Vice President

Corey Schmit, Student Liaison to Board of Trustee

Tawnee Milko, Student Liaison to Board of Trustee

Sayed Nassar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering

and Director, FAJRI

G. Rasul Chaudhry, Professor of Biological Sciences

Eddie Cheng, Professor of Mathematics

Jacqueline S. Long, Chair Board of Trustee

Leonard Hendricks, Auburn Hills

Frank Moss, Maintenance Manager, Department of

University Housing