University of New Hampshire professors vote no confidence in president Mark Huddleston
April 28, 2011
University of New Hampshire professors said yesterday they have no confidence in university President Mark Huddleston, according to a faculty union leader.
"We wish that this vote hadn't been necessary," said Deanna Wood, president of the American Association of University Professors UNH Chapter. "But we needed to get the president's attention, to open more dialogue with the faculty."
Though there are more than 630 faculty members covered by the union contract, only about 420 are registered members eligible to vote. Of them, 202 cast ballots: 129 voted no-confidence, and 73 voted confidence, Wood said.
The union's executive committee called for the vote after reading Huddleston's remarks to the Senate Finance Committee on April 18, but the vote caps an 18-month battle between professors and administrators over contracts and compensation.
The testimony in question was part of an appeal to state lawmakers against proposed cuts in the university's funding. The House budget proposal being considered by the Senate finance committee cuts appropriations to the University System of New Hampshire by 45 percent, which would result in a cut of $31 million in appropriations to UNH.
"We've been very patient . . . and all of a sudden out of the blue, our president gets up in front of the state finance committee and tells them how stuck in the past we are, that our students are passive and that they leave the university with no sense of loyalty, and that was just too much," Wood said.