Silence surrounds faculty committee member resignation


Photo by Trebor Maitin for The Lafayette

All the members of the Governance Committee declined to comment.

A March letter that was circulated to department heads regarding concerns over a lack of transparency in the administration and issues in shared governance referenced the resignation-in-protest of history professor Deborah Rosen from the Governance Committee. 

The letter, signed by religious studies department head Eric Ziolkowski, mechanical engineering department head Daniel Sabatino, history department head Rebekah Pite and women’s, gender & sexuality studies department head Mary Armstrong, claimed that “the recent resignation-in-protest of the former Chair of the Governance Committee, MacCracken Professor of History Deborah Rosen, confirms a crisis of shared governance that remains unaddressed by the administration but in fact cannot be ignored.” 

It has not been made public why Rosen decided to resign from the committee, and Rosen, along with all members of the Governance Committee, declined multiple requests for comment.

In addition, Provost John Meier declined on multiple occasions to comment on the circumstances leading to Rosen’s resignation. He wrote in an email that “the Governance Committee is in the midst of onboarding a new system of faculty-elected committees, improving our balloting processes for those committees, discussing next year’s academic dean structure, and of course all the standard business that typically makes Governance a busy committee.”

President Nicole Hurd said she did not have any information about the matter.

Next year’s academic dean structure has been particularly contentious amongst faculty and was cited as an example of a lack of faculty input on important decisions in the March letter. Professors were upset that the positions were filled before they were clearly defined to anybody on the faculty.

The letter stated that “rationales for initiatives such as the new Dean structure, for example, are moved forward based almost solely on administrative, bureaucratic needs.”

The faculty discontent has made national news in recent weeks when the controversy was highlighted by “Inside Higher Ed.” Rosen’s resignation was not mentioned in the article, which focused on the new dean structure.