Almost 100 faculty members at the University of San Diego have declared a loss of confidence in their president's leadership, saying her cancellation of a British theologian's visiting fellowship and her response to criticism of the move have shown her to be "ethically bankrupt," reports NCR Online.
The vote of no confidence by the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, one of seven colleges at the Catholic university, is the latest response to president Mary Lyons' rescission of a fellowship for Tina Beattie (pictured), a theologian known for her work in contemporary ethical issues.
Beattie had been scheduled to begin a fellowship at the university's on November 6. Lyons, who says the theologian publicly dissented from church teaching by suggesting Catholics could support civil same-sex marriage, cancelled the appointment in an October 27 letter.
"The president has shown herself to be ethically bankrupt, for which reason the motion is placed that this body declare a loss of confidence in her leadership," read the motion approved in a meeting Tuesday of the academic assembly of the university's College of Arts and Sciences.
The vote was 99 in support of the measure, 16 against, and 19 abstaining.
Carlton Floyd, chair of the assembly's executive committee, told NCR that while the vote was "largely symbolic," "it is hugely important as a symbolic gesture."
"It lets the world know ... that faculty here do in fact support and believe strongly in academic freedom, believe strongly and support the leadership of its directors ... and that the reasons and explanations that have come to us [for the cancellation], we consider largely invalid," said Floyd, an associate professor of English at the university.
FULL STORY USD faculty declare no confidence in university president after fellowship cancellation (NCR)