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Loyola-Chicago Professors Vote No Confidence in Education Deans

March 29, 2017

Some 85 percent of tenure-stream professors at Loyola University at Chicago's School of Education who participated a recent vote said they had no confidence in Terri Pigott, their dean. About 82 percent of voting professors also expressed no confidence in the leadership of Ann Marie Ryan, associate dean of academic programs in education. Twenty-seven of 33 total eligible faculty members voted.

Professors in the school have repeatedly expressed concerns about a hostile climate there, including intimidation, discrimination, threats against faculty members and programs, and the erosion of shared governance. Higher education faculty members also have accused the deans of deliberately misrepresenting their interest in a now-canceled executive doctor of education program to the greater university. The education school's Academic Council also censured the deans over similar concerns last month. (Note: This sentence has been updated from a previous version to reflect that the school's Academic Council, not the university's, resolved to censure the deans.)

David E. Chinitz, professor of English and president of Loyola’s advocacy chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said via email that members have been “following the developments in the School of Education for some time and have had serious concerns about issues of governance and the treatment of faculty there.” The recent vote of no confidence “signals unmistakably that the situation has become a crisis,” he added, “and we hope for an expeditious resolution so that the school can come together and begin to repair the damage.”

A university spokesperson declined comment on the vote, saying it was a confidential “personnel matter.”

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Colleen Flaherty

Colleen Flaherty, Reporter, covers faculty issues for Inside Higher Ed. Prior to joining the publication in 2012, Colleen was military editor at the Killeen Daily Herald, outside Fort Hood, Texas. Before that, she covered government and land use issues for the Greenwich Time and Hersam Acorn Newspapers in her home state of Connecticut. After graduating from McGill University in Montreal in 2005 with a degree in English literature, Colleen taught English and English as a second language in public schools in the Bronx, N.Y. She earned her M.S.Ed. from City University of New York Lehman College in 2008 as part of the New York City Teaching Fellows program. 

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