Barnard president loses vote of no confidence as criticism mounts over protest response

AP24117703986124 e1714226449759

The president of Barnard College at Columbia University lost a faculty-wide vote of no confidence on Tuesday, as criticism mounts over the school’s response to a pro-Palestine encampment that has sparked a national movement and garnered the political spotlight.

About 77 percent of Barnard faculty voted in no confidence on Tuesday against President Laura Rosenbury, The Columbia Spectator reported. The Spectator said it is the first no confidence vote against a president in the college’s history.

The move comes a week after the Barnard chapter of the American Association for University Professors (AAUP) unanimously recommended the vote, citing the college’s decision to suspend its students involved in Columbia’s Gaza Solidarity Encampment.

Over 50 students were suspended, among them the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), who complained of poor and unfair treatment by college leadership.

“I don’t know when I can go home, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to,” Irsa Hirsi told Teen Vogue last week, saying she had effectively been made homeless. “I haven’t formally been evicted. I haven’t been sent a ‘move out’ email, but they’ve just said that I can’t get in, whatever that means.” 

“I have like four shirts, two pairs of pants. Only Barnard students are evicted, and I think it’s pretty crazy,” she continued.

The AAUP recommendation was based on five claims, including a lack of care for students; poor governance with faculty; violations of academic freedom and the freedom of expression; “administrative chaos at every level of the college”; and a disregard for Barnard culture.

The no confidence does not remove Rosenbury from the role, though adds additional challenges to a university administration already under political pressure amid the protests. Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have called on Columbia President Minouche Shafik to resign if protests cannot be quickly quelled.

Columbia protesters moved to occupy a university building early Tuesday, causing school leadership to consider expulsions and legal action against the demonstrators.

Hundreds of students have been arrested nationwide in similar protests against the Biden administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas war. The protesters have also generally demanded that their schools divest from Israeli interests and the defense industry.

The Hill has reached out to Barnard for comment.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top