Trustees call vote of “no confidence” in President McCoy ‘disheartening’

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In a letter addressed to DePauw Faculty, the Board of Trustees called the result of the vote of no confidence “disheartening” as 31 percent of the voting-eligible faculty voted “yes” that they had no confidence in President Mark McCoy.

The trustees said they “are aware of the faculty’s frustration and appreciate their right to voice their concerns,” but they called the vote of no confidence in McCoy “unwarranted.”

“We remain confident in his ability to lead this institution toward a financially sustainable position within this challenging – and dramatically changing – higher education landscape,” the trustees wrote in the email sent to all faculty on Friday, Nov. 20. “We believe he has the best long-term interests of DePauw at the core of his work, and the Board of Trustees remains in full support of him.”

The voting results were released Thursday, Nov. 19 via an email from Faculty Chair Howard Brooks.

The email from Brooks reported that 206 of 266 eligible voters cast ballots, resulting in a 77 percent response rate. The vote was 83 members who voted “yes” to having no confidence in McCoy, 64 faculty members voted to abstain, and 59 voted “no,” meaning that they do have confidence in the university president.

Assuring the faculty that they are committed to “delivering an exceptional student experience while ensuring our institution’s future for generations to come,” the trustees pledged to continue to invest in DePauw’s future “while making prudent, if at times difficult, financial decisions.”

In the letter, shared with The DePauw by Professor of Computer Science Doug Harms, the trustees asked faculty to participate in the planning of an on-campus forum between faculty, administration and trustees in hopes to “continue the dialogue that has begun toward a better DePauw.” More details about the forum were not available at the time of this publication.

Ultimately, the Board of Trustees controls the hiring and firing of the president. This letter is the second letter the Board of Trustees sent stating their support for McCoy, the first letter was sent on Nov. 13 before the vote of no confidence.

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