What are example of no confidence votes by college students?
February 25, 2013 11:25 AM   Subscribe

What are examples of college students holding a vote of no confidence for their college president?

I'm interested in either all students, or a representative body, such as the student government, holding a vote or poll about a college president/chancellor/etc. I'm aware of the vote of no confidence by the Student Government Association at St. Louis University against their president.

What other schools have done something like this? Put broadly, do college/university students have any kind of history of weighing in on their school's leadership?

I am not interested in examples where it was the faculty who held the vote of no confidence.
posted by andoatnp to Education (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's kind of the reverse of what you're talking about, but at the University of Virginia last year, the Board of Visitors (basically the regents/governmental agency overseeing the school) forced the resignation of Theresa Sullivan as President - widespread outcry from students, alumni, and faculty then lead to her being reinstated.
posted by LionIndex at 11:39 AM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Colleges in ND are currently voting on no confidence measures. Link to the follow up story.
posted by Silvertree at 11:55 AM on February 25, 2013

Best answer: On May 10, 2005, the Student Government Association of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology passed a no confidence vote on President Jack Midgley, either unanimously or "nearly unanimously," depending on the source found in a brief online search. Rose-Hulman's faculty had also passed a no confidence vote a week earlier by a roughly 2-1 margin. Midgley resigned on June 11, 2005.

It's hard to find good sources for this online for free as many news articles on the subject are paywalled. (If you have access to paywalled sources through a library etc., it may be worth searching those for more information.) Here are some I did find:
  • Wikipedia - mentions the SGA vote but doesn't give a cite.
  • Brief AP release on Midgley's resignation which mentions the SGA vote.
  • Someone's old blog postings - Ctrl-F for "Dr. Midgley"
  • A blog post which is confusingly dated March 3, 2012, even though it discusses events from 2004 and 2005 as happening within the previous year.

posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:35 PM on February 25, 2013

Best answer: I don't think there was a formal poll or vote, but, in 1988, students at Gallaudet successfully protested the appointment of another hearing president (the school at that point had never had a Deaf president). The students presented a list of demands to the board of trustees, including the president's immediate resignation. There's a summary of the events on Wikipedia, and there's a documentary called "Through Deaf Eyes" that's available on Netflix streaming that talks about the protests.
posted by amarynth at 12:37 PM on February 25, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you need any more info on the RHIT vote and related details let me know. I'm not sure if the old discussion forums on the topic are still around, but I can check. The faculty, staff, and SGA passed votes of no confidence and there was a large online discussion which led to a rally (Hit the Road Jack).

It was an interesting year to be a freshman, but it was also pretty awesome to realize the degree to which the community cared and was willing to push this. (IIRC they had to pay to break the contract which had been signed for 2 years)
posted by Feantari at 3:12 PM on February 25, 2013

Best answer: Not precisely a no confidence vote, but in November 2011 RPI's Student Senate passed a resolution suggesting as one possible measure, should other changes to the Institute's administrative structure prove insufficient to resolve perceived leadership issues, the removal of President Shirley Jackson.
posted by beryllium at 7:47 PM on February 25, 2013

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