The College of Nursing faculty voted “no confidence” in the leadership of Nursing Dean Phyllis Hansell on Feb. 24, according to a nursing professor.
Nursing professor Judith Lothian said the vote of no confidence is a strong message from faculty expressing “lack of support” in Hansell’s leadership and the desire for change.
According to Lothian, 28 of the 41 nursing faculty members eligible to vote were present at the February meeting. She said the vote on the resolution, which is non-binding, resulted in 20 votes of no confidence, five votes in favor of the dean and three abstentions.
The outcome of the vote was forwarded to the Provost Office. Deans are appointed by the Provost Office.
“Our office has initiated a review of the resolution,” Provost Gabriel Esteban said. “Upon conclusion of our review, we will then determine an appropriate course of action as needed.”
“I am not able to comment on the situation,” Hansell said in an e-mail interview and referred The Setonian to the Provost’s Office for comment.
Some nursing faculty members said they are appalled about the process because not all faculty members were involved. Lothian said a quorum was present at the regularly scheduled faculty meeting where the vote was taken.
At least five nursing faculty who responded to e-mail requests for comments, expressed their support of the dean.
Professor Colleen Carrington said in an e-mail response to a request for comments that she wanted to “strongly express” she took no part in the vote.
“I had been approached by a colleague a few weeks before the vote and I had stated that I would not participate in the vote,” Carrington said. “I am a recently hired faculty member to the nursing college. I have only a very positive and warm relationship with the dean.”
Professor Kathleen Sternas said she did attend the faculty meeting.
“The vote of no confidence was a surprise, which created confusion on the part of the faculty,” Sternas said. “There were faculty who were opposed to this process and faculty who did not understand why this vote was being done.”
Carolyn Maso can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.