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Steven Rosenstone

Moorhead faculty join vote of 'no confidence' in chancellor

MOORHEAD, Minn. - Citing faculty cuts and mismanagement, the Faculty Senate of Minnesota State University Moorhead cast a vote of "no confidence" in system Chancellor Steven Rosenstone on Tuesday.

Four other faculties in the statewide Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system have also cast votes of "no confidence" in Rosenstone, saying his "Charting the Future" initiative could threaten their autonomy.

Two unions that represent the MnSCU faculty stopped participating in the "Charting the Future," a strategic planning initiative, in October.

Faculty President Ted Gracyk said that in addition to issues of mismanagement and centralization, a particular problem for the MSUM faculty was Rosenstone's handling of faculty cuts last year.

The university lost about 40 faculty because of budget cuts. A faculty request to the system office to use state funds earmarked for retaining excellent faculty was denied.

"We believed and continue to believe that funds were actually available from the system that would have eased the process of downsizing the faculty," Gracyk said.

Cuts carried out over several years would have been "far less disruptive," he said.

Faculty are still making curricular changes to cope with the cuts, he said.

MSUM faculty also believe the chancellor wasn't transparent about his intentions.

Rosenstone's budget included a goal of cutting millions in "administrative efficiencies," but "I don't think any of us understood that this meant cutting faculty," Gracyk said.

The system office responded to the vote with an email from Board Chairman Tom Renier, saying it was "disappointing that the faculty union is employing this tactic to stop the critical conversations that make up Charting the Future."