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Faculty at the College of Saint Rose voted last week to request that its president, Carolyn Stefanco, be removed from her position, The Times Union reported.
After calling for her ouster by a more than two-to-one margin, the faculty asked the Board of Trustees to dismiss the president. In response, however, the trustees announced their “unwavering support” for Stefanco.
The faculty said it had lost confidence in Stefanco’s leadership because she created an “atmosphere filled with fear of retaliation” at the private New York college.
Since filling the position in summer 2014, the president has overseen dramatic cuts to academic programs and faculty member positions. When the college was facing a $9 million deficit in December 2015, Stefanco suggested slashing 23 faculty positions and 27 academic programs.
At the same time, many faculty and administrators have left the university of their own accord, according to The Times Union. Three of the four deans at the college have said they are leaving.
“Morale is low among everyone at the college,” said Kathleen Crowley, a professor who voted for Stefanco’s ouster.
From the trustees’ perspective, Stefanco has navigated many difficult situations in her three years with Saint Rose. She oversaw the largest first-year class in the college’s history last fall as well as new master’s and bachelor’s programs.
"President Stefanco is leading this institution through a changing environment impacting higher education institutions throughout the nation," the trustees said in a letter to the faculty after last week’s 63-29 vote for Stefanco’s removal.
"Change is difficult, but this is the time for the administration and the faculty to get together behind the strategic plan we have charted to help our college succeed."