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Black Professors at Kentucky State Vote No Confidence in Faculty Senate’s President

Updated (4/7/2017, 2:31 p.m.) with comment from the president of the Faculty Caucus of Color.

Members of the Faculty Caucus of Color at Kentucky State University have voted to express the “highest confidence” in Karen Bearden, chairwoman of the Board of Regents, but no confidence in Kimberly Sipes, president of the Faculty Senate.

Last month the Faculty Senate at the historically black university, in Frankfort, Ky., voted no confidence in Ms. Bearden following a rocky presidential search. Black faculty members on the campus said the vote was split almost entirely along racial lines.

The latest balloting was conducted electronically from April 1 to April 4, and the resolutions reflecting the results — 26 to 5 in favor of expressing no confidence in Ms. Sipes, and 27 to 3 expressing confidence in Ms. Bearden — were passed on Wednesday.

“The FCC has aggressively pursued and will continue to seek reconciliation with Ms. Sipes and the KSU Faculty Senate Executive Committee, unfortunately to no avail,” said Roosevelt Shelton, president of the Faculty Caucus of Color, in an emailed statement. “The present FCC voting results confirm our assertions that the Faculty Senate’s previous confidence procedures have racially divided the campus and greatly contribute to a breakdown in confidence and trust.”

Ms. Sipes did not immediately respond to The Chronicle’s requests for comment, but she previously denied that racial animus lay behind the vote of no confidence in Ms. Bearden.

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