University Senate votes no confidence in provost’s leadership

Terry Ballman addresses students’ concerns after the resignation of Larry Snyder on Monday, April 1. The University Senate passed a vote of no confidence on Ballman on Thursday, April 4. 

Herald Staff

The University Senate voted no confidence in the leadership of Provost Terry Ballman during a special called meeting Thursday.

The resolution passed with 50 votes in favor, 10 against and three abstentions.

University Senate Chair Kirk Atkinson said his next step is to notify President Timothy Caboni of the vote, which he hopes to do by Thursday night.

Caboni will have a response to the vote of no confidence by noon on Friday, according to Phillip Bale, the chair of WKU’s Board of Regents. Bale also said that the regents have been made aware of the vote, but would not comment any further because it is a personnel matter. 

The special called meeting was announced in an email from Atkinson on Monday after he said he received the necessary faculty signatures.

Atkinson said he requested the president and provost not attend the meeting.

In his time at WKU, Atkinson said he has never seen a vote of no confidence passed. He said he has served at WKU since 2000. 

Bob Skipper, director of media relations, released a statement on behalf of the university shortly after the meeting.

“A vote of no confidence is exceedingly rare in higher education and at our institution. WKU takes shared governance seriously and will need some time to react appropriately to this action taken by our University Senate,” according to the statement. 

Student Government Association President Stephen Mayer said he believes the recent actions taken by the provost are “uncalled for.” He said there is a lack of transparency between the administration and the WKU community, and the vote is reflective of a range of events which have occurred over the past year.    

“After this, I believe that the president and my working relationships with him will strongly consider what the faculty has presented to administrative council and I believe that they will not be brushed off the shoulder,” Mayer said. “I believe that he [Caboni] will listen and I believe that action will be taken. In regards to what action, I am unsure.”

This story will be updated with more information.