When the poll closed at 6:00pm today, professors from the College of Arts and Science were gathered in the basement of La Lanterna café on MacDougal Street, awaiting the outcome of a week-long vote of no confidence conducted by their colleagues. At 6:09pm, screams and clapping erupted from the cluster of tables they occupied: the vote had passed.
“It’s crumbling! It’s like Jenga!” shouted someone in the crowd.
Mark Crispin Miller, NYU professor and head of the group Faculty Against the Sexton Plan, announced the news: of the 682 eligible CAS professors, 569 cast their anonymous, electronic ballots, amounting to just over 83% participation. The majority of them–298 professors–voted ‘agree,’ indicating that they did did not have confidence in John Sexton in his capacity as president of the university. 224 voted in favor of the president, and 47 professors abstained from the vote. The motion of no confidence has been passed by the Faculty of Arts and Science.
To be eligible to vote, the professors had to be tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty.
NYU’s board of trustees responded with a statement from board chair Martin Lipton an hour after the results were announced, calling them a “disappointment.” Lipton is a longtime advocate for NYU’s 2031 expansion plan:
The Board of Trustees unanimously and strongly supports President John Sexton, and believes in his strategic direction for the University.
To be sure, we are attentive to the vote by arts and science faculty, and conscious of what it says about sentiment in that school. But we also take note of the vote of support by the Medical School faculty council; the letters of support for John from department chairs at the School of Medicine, the College of Dentistry, and the College of Nursing; the letter of support from the Alumni Association’s officers; the support for John’s leadership among the University’s deans; the popularity John enjoys among students; and the many affirmations we hear about John’s leadership from those outside the NYU community.
Follow all of NYU Local’s Vote of No Confidence coverage here.