Faculty assembly passes a vote of no confidence against Board chairman

Faculty+assembly+casts+Vote+of+No+Confidence+against+Board+Chairman

Faculty assembly casts Vote of No Confidence against Board Chairman

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A vote taken by Linfield faculty on Tuesday shows the majority of them believe Board of Trustees Chairman David Baca is ill-equipped to handle reports of sexual misconduct. 

In the special “all-division” faculty meeting this week, the faculty cast their vote of no confidence (VONC) against Baca. The motion passed 88 to 18. 

According to a faculty trustee report written by Linfield English Professor Daniel Pollack-Pelzner this month, three current Board members have been accused of sexual misconduct by at least one student and one faculty member. 

Jackson Miller, a communications professor and the former dean of faculty, said there were two sections redacted from Pollack-Pelzner’s May 2020 report: “Board responsibility for evaluation of presidential performance,” and “Board responsibility for addressing sexual assault allegations against trustees.” 

Additionally, the Oregonian has released multiple reports that former senior Trustee David Jubb has sexually assaulted four Linfield students. He is being charged with one count of first-degree sexual assault and and seven counts of third-degree sexual assault.

Because of this, some students and other Linfield community members have been concerned with Board leadership, and are even calling for Baca’s resignation.

Director of Communications and Marketing Scott Nelson said in an interview on Tuesday that he thinks Baca has done all he can to keep students and faculty members safe at trustee social functions.

In response to questions about what some students and faculty members have described as a lack of transparent communication, Davis said the college must protect the privacy of all parties involved, and cannot identify other Board members who have been accused of misconduct without proper due process.  

Another spokesperson for the college said he is not at liberty to say if there have been sex abuse complaints against trustees beyond those of AnnaMarie Motis.

Sharon Bailey Glasco is a Linfield history professor and the chair of the faculty executive council. She said Tuesday’s VONC by the faculty assembly is not a request for Baca’s resignation, but rather a “formal recognition that the Faculty Assembly no longer has confidence in the leadership of the Board of Trustees by Chair David Baca.”

She said with the growing concern over issues of sexual misconduct at Linfield in the past few months, the faculty decided they needed to take action. 

“We believed that a vote of no confidence was essential, at this time, to send a message to the Linfield community that the institution has an obligation to provide an environment that promotes transparency, accountability, and responsiveness on issues of sexual assault and sexual misconduct,” Bailey Glasco said. 

According to English Professor Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt, this is the first time the faculty have passed a VONC motion against the chair of the Board of Trustees. 

“The motion on which we voted clearly outlined the rationales for a VONC against Mr. Baca. Among [those] included how Mr. Baca’s leadership compromised transparency, accountability, and timely responsiveness on issues of sexual assault and sexual misconduct,” she said. “It was a rather difficult decision, but we made the decision primarily keeping our students in mind.” 

Dutt-Ballerstadt said the VONC on Tuesday sent a clear message to the Board that faculty will not support perpetrators over Linfield students. 

Bailey Glasco said the faculty recognizes their responsibility to ensure students’ security. “We uphold their safety as our greatest priority, and stand in solidarity with them and survivors… to end sexual assaults and sexual misconduct on our campus,” she said. “By conducting this vote, we hope to send a powerful demonstration of our support for our students.”