Emory U. Faculty Members Vote Down No-Confidence Motion Against President

Faculty members in the university’s College of Arts and Sciences on Friday rejected a measure that would have expressed no confidence in President James W. Wagner. The vote was 201 to 133. Mr. Wagner drew a storm of criticism in February when, in a column for Emory’s alumni magazine, he appeared to applaud a compromise at the 1787 Constitutional Convention that upheld a system of racial apartheid. Mr. Wagner quickly apologized, saying he was only trying to praise the value of compromise, not the specific compromise reached at the convention. Professors in the College of Arts and Sciences, who account for about 20 percent of Emory’s faculty over all, previously censured Mr. Wagner for his comments. Emory’s board has continued to support Mr. Wagner through the controversy.

In the winter edition of Emory Magazine, Wagner used the 1787 three-fifths compromise on slavery to make a point about finding common ground in politics. Wagner later apologized, saying he considered slavery heinous and inhuman, and that he should have stated that clearly.

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