California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

faculty assembly approves resolution of “no confidence” regarding university president

California Lutheran University’s faculty assembly voted 122-3 on Tuesday, Jan. 16 to approve a resolution of “no confidence” in regards to President Lori Varlotta’s ability to effectively continue her position as president of the university.

The resolution cited multiple areas in which the faculty assembly felt Varlotta was unfit to continue her position, which included the financial health of the university, interpersonal relations with staff, students, and faculty, as well as university relationships with outside community members and donors.

Votes such as these are permissible in an academic environment like ours that values shared governance. They have also become increasingly common at institutions facing difficult budget decisions and other change-management issues,” university spokesperson Mark Berry said in an email to The Echo. “We understand that this vote indicates where the faculty stand.”

A faculty member who asked not to be named said the vote was a symbolic gesture demonstrating faculty opinion and concern surrounding Varlotta’s capability as president of the university. They also stated that the decision to propose the resolution was not taken lightly, warranting thoughtful consideration and discussion amongst faculty assembly members.

Berry also said that the vote does not carry any legal authority.

The no confidence vote option has been considered for a couple of years, but faculty leadership wanted to try other less public options first,” former Faculty Assembly Chair and professor of psychology Julie Kuehnel said. “However, these other efforts were not successful, and therefore we moved to a vote of no confidence by the full faculty.”

Of those in attendance, 97.6% of the full-time faculty who voted were in favor to approve this resolution.

Regarding the resolution, the faculty assembly has called for Varlotta to either, “resign or be removed by the Board of Regents as President of California Lutheran University.” 

“Votes of no confidence are symbolic,” Faculty Senate Chair and professor of communication Sharon Docter said. “Only governing bodies, such as the Board of Regents, would have the power to remove a university president from their office.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 17 Officers of the Cal Lutheran Board of Regents shared a statement signed by members, Chair Ann Boynton, Vice Chair Bill Camarillo, and Secretary Ted DeFrank.

The statement read, in part, “The Board of Regents has worked closely with President Varlotta and fully partnered with her on the actions she has taken to navigate the university through truly unprecedented challenges. She continues to thoughtfully address the many challenges facing the university, she demonstrates an unwavering commitment to the success of our students now and in the future, and she has our full support.”

This article was updated at 10:25 p.m. on Jan. 17, to include the statements shared by Mark Berry, Julie Kuehnel, a faculty member under the condition of anonymity, and the Officers of the California Lutheran University Board of Regents.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Echo Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *