USF Poly leader responds to faculty's "no confidence" vote
After his campus's Faculty Senate voted that they had "no confidence" in Marshall Goodman, the USF Polytechnic chancellor released a statement saying he's confident they can "continue to work together."
"I look forward to continuing the dialog with the entire Poly community as we move forward," Goodman said hours after 13 of the 15 senate members voted that his disregard of academic freedom causes them to doubt his leadership. The two other members who were present abstained.
The vote came on a day full of tense moments. Hours earlier, USF President Judy Genshaft had addressed the USF Poly faculty in an attempt to reassure them of their role in the campus's future independence -- as prescribed by the Florida Board of Governors last week. The powerful state senator who has pushed hardest against Genshaft for that split showed up unexpectedly. J.D. Alexander remained silent the whole time, a day after he called for an investigation into what he called "misleading" statements and questionable actions by the USF president.
But it's Goodman who's really been in the hot seat the past few weeks, with two state senators hammering him for his failure to provide a detailed audit into his campus's expenditures, which they've asked for repeatedly, and a member of the state university system governing board calling him out at last week's meeting for being "incompetent."
The remark came after John Temple called Goodman's business plan for separating USF Poly "a piece of crap." Goodman blushed as audience members' heads turned toward him.
Yet he came back to town boasting that the board "gave us what we asked for," and calling the business plan his "bible," the Ledger in Lakeland reported.
He echoed that rhetoric in his statement, released late Thursday night:
Last week, the Board of Governors overwhelmingly supported a path that calls for Poly to become an independent institution that would allow it to better address critical education issues in Florida, especially related to science, technology, engineering and math. I fully recognize this is a change in direction and understand the apprehension of the faculty. While I’m concerned by the faculty’s vote and take it very seriously, I am confident that we can continue to work together in our mission to provide the very best teaching and learning resources for our students and our region.
There are many challenges ahead. Currently, we are establishing a committee of faculty, students and other key stakeholders, led by our Chief Academic Officer, which will be tasked with ensuring that we are meeting the benchmarks set forth by the BOG. I am committed to transparency and collaboration – and will be throughout this entire transition. I look forward to continuing the dialog with the entire Poly community as we move forward.
Meanwhile, USF President Genshaft has promised to take the helm in moving USF Poly toward the conditions laid out by the Board of Governors -- which will delay separation by at least several years. She put up a new page on the USF web site documenting those benchmarks. The USF Poly Faculty Senate took a vote on her leadership, too: "Confidence."