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Western Michigan University union may hold a no-confidence vote against university leadership

Colourful overlapping silhouettes of hands voting in fabric texture

The union for full-time faculty at Western Michigan University may hold a no-confidence vote in the school’s leadership.

Members will meet Friday to decide.

Western’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors says it’s got many concerns about the school’s direction under President Edward Montgomery. They include administrators allegedly leaving faculty out of important decisions and a controversial rebranding effort criticized by some alumni. But some of the biggest worries turn on declining enrollment, and budget cuts made during the pandemic shutdown. A.A.U.P. member Jacinda Swanson says those cuts could hurt enrollment even more, as well as student retention.

“A lot of the people that were laid off at the beginning of the pandemic were like the frontline staff who help students, and who help faculty do their jobs. So, you know, that’s really worrisome.”

If approved, the confidence-vote would likely be held next week, and could target President Montgomery, a different leader or the school’s direction more generally.

The university declined to comment.