No Confidence ...
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Julie A Hofmann - 3/17/2005
Yeah, well, we had a funny idea that the vote would be useless unless it were definitive, so that the faculty could not be dismissed as whiners.
Jonathan Dresner - 3/17/2005
By my calculations, that puts your actual votes of no confidence somewhere around 50% of the full faculty, which certainly qualifies as definitive. Harvard's 1/4th rate doesn't, indeed, compare well.
But we live in a winner-take-all democracy, so that even an election with 5% turnout that is won by a margin of about 10% can be considered a "victory" (we had a union mail-in vote like that recently).
Julie A Hofmann - 3/16/2005
We recently held a vote of no confidence where I teach. 2/3 of the full-time faculty voted and about 20% of the adjuncts. The resolution passed with about 78% voting no confidence. Harvard's numbers aren't that impressive.
Jonathan Dresner - 3/16/2005
It's worth noting, in addition to Chris Bray's point, that this only represents about 60% of the faculty. The Crimson's reporting added some interesting names to the votes: for what it's worth, historians were prominently mentioned among the opponents of "no confidence", including Dean and Chinese historian Bill Kirby (whose attempts at curricular reform by consensus may suffer along with Summers as a result), Chinese historian Phil Kuhn (a gentleman scholar of the first order), and Stephen Thernstrom (Americanist); Yiddish Lit scholar (you have to be a bit of an historian to do that) Ruth Wisse cited JS Mill.
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