Both faculty and staff at the University of Arizona are considering votes of no confidence following the announcement of layoffs and budget cuts.
Tuesday’s staff council meeting, which quickly reached capacity at 500 attendees, consisted of many sharing their confusion about the university’s financial plan and whether they would have jobs come March.
“I have to worry about whether or not I'm going to pay rent in March; I'm going to have to worry about whether or not I'm able to afford student loans in March, whether I'm going to be able to afford my credit card bills in March,” one staff member said. “This lack of transparency is detrimental to the mental health of all of these staff members who have to deal with this time and time again.”
Staff Council Chair Melanie Madden said she is unsure if a vote of no confidence is the right move right now, but says the administration is not including them in key decisions.
“The issue that we're seeing is that shared governance gets trotted out quite a lot by the President to say that he has engaged with shared governance and what we what we frequently see is that engaging with us just means telling us how it is,” Madden said.
Madden shared with staff that she believes UA’s financial issues have been a long time coming.
“This university hasn't been well managed for the last number of years,” Madden said. “We wouldn't be in this situation if there was accountability and oversight for the spending that's happening.”
During Monday’s financial update, President Robert Robbins and the Arizona Board of Regents emphasized the idea of shared governance as a way to move forward with addressing the financial crisis. But, not all faculty and staff feel like they are being included.
A second vote of no confidence in ABOR is being reviewed by a faculty senate committee.