Saint Louis U. Faculty Votes No Confidence in President

Thursday’s 35-to-2 vote by the Faculty Council of the university’s College of Arts and Sciences was the first no-confidence vote ever passed against the Rev. Lawrence Biondi, the Jesuit institution’s president. The vote follows Father Biondi’s decision to back an administrator who floated a controversial plan to overhaul the university’s tenure system. The university dropped the plan in the face of heavy criticism.

Ellen Carnaghan, a political science professor, said Biondi’s refusal to fire Patankar represented a lack of capable leadership. If he fails to act on Patankar, faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences could consider a broader no confidence vote against Biondi that will focus on his overall leadership, she said. The move also could pave the way for other bodies in the university to cast similar votes.

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