Emory arts and sciences faculty vote no confidence in President Fenves

Emory University president Gregory L. Fenves. (Photo: Miguel Martinez/ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Emory University president Gregory L. Fenves. (Photo: Miguel Martinez/ The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

An overwhelming majority of the faculty in one of Emory University’s biggest colleges say they have no faith in President Gregory Fenves, whose decision to allow a police crackdown on a campus protest last week led to the arrest of more than a dozen students and professors.

The takedown, which included video of a middle-aged female professor being wrestled to the ground by two officers, her face pressed into a concrete sidewalk, traveled far and wide on the internet, with potential implications for the university’s reputation.

Three out of four of the 477 faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences voted “no confidence” in Fenves, condemning the “violence” and the use of force by the time voting closed at 3 p.m. Friday.

“There was no evidence of violence on the part of protesters, and no disruption of teaching and research activities,” said an email the faculty senate used to announce the outcome. “What was disruptive —profoundly so — was the conduct of the University administration that violated multiple College and University policies and is an affront to everything Emory stands for,” said the email.

A vote of no confidence signals to the university board of trustees that the faculty, at least in this college, would like to see Fenves replaced.

A university spokeswoman provided a statement with the same vote tally represented in the email that the professor had shared with the AJC (358 vote for the no confidence motion and 119 against). The statement noted that the arts and sciences college is one of nine units of the university and that the vote was non-binding.

“While we take any concerns expressed by members of our community seriously, there are a wide range of perspectives being shared within the Emory community,” the statement said.

The Emory student newspaper has reported that faculty in Oxford College, another unit of the university, also voted no confidence in Fenves. The vote there was even more lopsided, with 90% in favor of the resolution, according to a report in The Emory Wheel.

» The latest from college campus protests in metro Atlanta.