Votes of No Confidence

At its May 29 meeting, by secret ballot the Faculty Assembly voted No Confidence in the Provost (63-0-2) and No Confidence in the President (62-0-1). The Assembly also called for an electronic administration of Votes of No Confidence to give those not present an opportunity to participate.

Electronic voting via opened at 9:30 a.m on Wednesday, May 30, 2018 and closed at noon on Friday, June 1, 2018.

In preparation for the electronic administration of the vote, emails for all faculty listed on the webpages for each department and school were collected. Those who were indicated as part-time as well as those reporting directly to the Provost were excluded. All others were coded as 1) Ordinary Professor (n=114), 2) Associate Professor (n=124), 3) Other tenure-track faculty (n=53), 4) faculty emeriti (n=42), and 5) contract and other faculty (n=115). Those 448 faculty members received electronic ballots via

The ballot stated that all full-time and emeritus faculty, excluding those directly reporting to the Provost, were qualified to vote. 225 votes were cast. The response rate for each category was 1) 58%, 2) 59%, 3) 47%, 4) 36%, 5) 40%.

The Vote of No Confidence in the Provost recorded 170 in favor, 26 opposing, 29 abstaining; the Vote of No Confidence in the President recorded 176 in favor, 29 opposing, 20 abstaining.

[Updated June 4, 2018: Our audit of the vote discovered 9 ballots (2 of which were cast) that should not have been issued and 1 ballot that should have been issued but was not (and would have been cast). Thus the total number of ballots issued should not have been 448 but 440, and the total number of votes not 225 but 224. The effect on the outcome was insignificant.]

[Updated June 4, 2018: The difference between the university’s full-time faculty (391) and the 440 ballots is explained by in part by the inclusion of 42 emeritus faculty in the vote. After the 15 faculty reporting directly to the Provost are removed and emeritus faculty are added in, the difference between our rolls and the university’s official count is 22.

This difference of 22 is explained by the fact that, in the absence of official university data, we had to resort to collecting faculty information from school and department websites. Since we excluded anyone who was listed as (or whom we personally knew to be) part-time, it turns out that there are more than 22 faculty listed on the university’s web pages who appear to be full-time faculty but are not. They received ballots but most if not all likely did not cast votes because of the clear indication on the ballot that the vote was only for full-time and emeritus faculty.]

[Updated June 4, 2018: The bottom line: Of the ballots that went out, only 26 came back affirming CONFIDENCE in the Provost, and only 29 came back affirming CONFIDENCE in the President. Of all of those who could have weighed in with their support, only 7% were moved to express confidence in the President and Provost, and of those who did respond, only 13% reported confidence in the University’s two top officers.]


Faculty Opinion Survey

  • 444 current and emeriti faculty were invited to vote via on Thursday, May 24, at 9:15 a.m. 5 ballots bounced back. 2 were corrected and reissued—making the total number of ballots 441.
  • The election was closed on Monday, May 28, at 4:15 p.m.
  • 175 electronic and 4 paper ballots were cast for a total of 179 ballots cast and a 41% participation rate.

For perspective, the chart below is from Fall 2014, when President Garvey was up for reappointment.

May 29 Meeting


MINUTES (draft)

MOTION (passed unanimously):

The Provost and President have stated that the Proposal for Academic
Renewal was “approved” by the Academic Senate. This is a
misrepresentation of the Senate’s action, which was not approbative
but procedural. We the Faculty Assembly wish to state unambiguously
that we DISAPPROVE of the Proposal for Academic Renewal, taken as a
whole, because it does not express a firm commitment to preserving
tenure, and it continues to include conclusions based on faulty data
(Appendix C).

MOTION (passed by secret ballot 63-0-2):

RESOLVED, that WE, THE FACULTY ASSEMBLY OF THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, do hereby declare that we have NO CONFIDENCE in the leadership of Dr. Andrew Abela.

MOTION (passed by secret ballot 62-0-1):

UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA, do hereby declare that we have NO CONFIDENCE in the leadership of Mr. John Garvey.

May 10 Meeting




MOTION PASSED: We endorse the report of the Ad Hoc Committee in its entirety. We also emphatically endorse the memorandum from the Faculty Handbook Committee and its definition of tenure.

MOTION PASSED: We expressly reject Appendix C of the Proposal for Academic Renewal, including its data, which are inaccurate. We also reject any proposal that does not affirm explicit protections for tenure.