Columbia faculty group passes no-confidence measure on school’s president

Columbia University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences approved a vote of no confidence Thursday against university President Minouche Shafik over her handling of the recent pro-Palestinian protests on campus.

The vote, organized by the school’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), won with a 65 percent majority, though it has no real power against Shafik.

The AAUP chapter released a statement highlighting the frustrations the group has with Shafik such as agreeing during a recent congressional hearing to fire a particular faculty member and ultimately bringing in the police to clear student protesters.

“This series of actions not only endangered our students; more broadly, it represents a serious threat to the core values of the university: academic freedom, shared governance, freedom of expression, and the right to peaceful assembly. The President’s choices to eschew democratic processes have undermined the faculty’s confidence in her and her leadership team,” the organization said.

A university official said only 900 out of the 4,600 full-time faculty at the school participated in the vote, meaning 80 percent of the voices were not represented. 

“President Shafik continues to consult regularly with members of the community, including faculty, administration, and trustees, as well as with state, city, and community leaders. She appreciates the efforts of those working alongside her on the long road ahead to heal our community,” a university spokesperson said.

Updated at 2:40 pm.

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