Central Faculty Votes for No Confidence in Education Associate Dean

Randi Gibbons, Staff Reporter

On June 3, a confidence/no confidence vote was cast in relation to the ability of Associate Dean for Education, Dr. Virginia Erion to fulfill the requirements of her station.

The voting ballot called to recognize six concerns regarding Erion’s work at Central.

– Pattern of inadequate leadership and lack of transparency

– Faculty/department coercion and intimidation

– Failed collaboration and consensus building

– Advocating for some departments to the detriment of others

– Privileged communications with one department and the exclusion of affected departments

– Inability to reduce eliminate incivilities amongst faculty and students

How the voting process begins

In order to call for a vote of confidence/no confidence, there must first be a communication made by a faculty member about their concern and their reasoning for a vote to the faculty senate.

The faculty senate is made up of representatives from each educational department at Central.

In order for a vote to be cast, the senate must approve it. In this case, the senate approved a vote but did not feel comfortable speaking on behalf of a department that not all of the senate worked in.

There was a vote on allowing a vote and a ballot was sent out to the faculty working directly under Erion.

The Department of Educational Foundations and Curriculum Chair, Dr. Ian Loverro, said that the point of the vote was to decide if the faculty felt Erion could continue doing her job and doing it well.

“In light of what the committee’s of the senate had found, one of the senators motioned that we should have a vote of confidence to see if the faculty are confidence in Dr. Erion’s performance as associate dean,” Loverro.

According to Loverro the voting process took a week and the majority was in favor of ‘no confidence.’

Since the Vote

More than a month after the vote’s outcome, faculty has yet to hear what actions will be taken in light of the ‘no confidence’ majority.

The Observer had an opportunity to sit down and discuss the vote with a Central faculty member who wished to remain anonymous.

“Admin and faculty have been informed [about the outcome] but we haven’t heard anything since the vote,” the anonymous source said.

Although the vote had a clear majority for ‘no confidence’, the results of the findings depend on any of the administrators above Dr. Erion such as the Dean, the Provost, or the President.

“Not even an official statement has been made,” Loverro said. “Nothing has been done.”

The department has never been in a situation like this before, so it is highly unknown what the end result will be, the anonymous source said.

And nothing technically has to be done, Loverro said. The vote has no teeth without a faculty member taking action.

“Maybe this [story] will get them to do something,” Loverro said. “To me, that’s the big question, what is going to happen next?”

When asked for a comment on the matter, Erion said she knew very little about the vote or any resulting action that might be taken.

“I was never officially notified of a vote, never saw the ballot, never was informed of the outcome nor the process in any manner other than through my colleagues who wished to “share”,” Erion said in an email.

Paul Ballard,  Dean of Education and Professional Studies, declined to be interviewed and said in an email that “at this time you know as much as I do.”


Edited at 6:24p.m. on July 25 to add information regarding Paul Ballard, Dean of Education and Professional Studies.