How McCallum Vote of No Confidence Effort Evolved and Stalled
An effort by DSU faculty and staff to formally explore a vote of no confidence against President Richard McCallum began in January 2011. That’s around the same time that the last Legislative Session began.
DSU’s Faculty Senate President at the time, Associate Professor of Political Science Steven Doherty, says that many DSU faculty members were unhappy about a number of issues on campus and began contacting him about the possibility of a vote of no confidence against McCallum. “We (DSU Faculty Senate) had been asked to explore the matter in January 2011. I think it had been on the (DSU Faculty Senate) agenda in February 2011. We hadn’t got to it. I don’t remember any type of activity (on a vote of no confidence from the faculty senate in February 2011),” said Doherty.
DSU employees and university system officials began looking into enrollment reporting issues in February 2011. As the investigation continued, some DSU faculty and staff had hoped the State Board of Higher Education would not renew McCallum’s contract at a meeting on June 16, 2011. “People were probably just hoping that some of the circumstances would lead to a change in the administration…Many individuals on campus very much wanted to see a new president. We could already see some of the problems the McCallum Administration was bringing to this campus and I think most people were just hoping to see some sort of change…I was hoping that we would see new leadership myself,” said Dougherty.
Evidence from McCallum’s termination hearing in the Fall of 2011 reveals that letters were sent to Goetz in February 2011 and March 2011 which expressed serious DSU faculty and staff concerns about McCallum:
A letter dated February 13, 2011 (Exhibit #51 in the evidence file) from North Dakota Public Employee Association Executive Director Stuart Savelkoul to Goetz told the chancellor that faculty and staff at the school were considering a vote of no confidence against McCallum, citing issues such as:
HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT (including a high employee turnover rate, unattainable goals set by McCallum, a general overworking of certain staff departments and the document also claim that McCallum tried to bully and manipulate DSU’s Faculty Senate over its efforts to implement a faculty sick leave policy, which McCallum is said to have strongly resisted);
McCallum’s FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE with faculty and staff and his FAILURE TO MAKE DECISIONS, which the document describes as being very problematic;
ENROLLMENT PROBLEMS at the school were identified (including the recruitment of international students who don’t speak proper English, the inflation of enrollment numbers and the continual decline of enrollment at the school);
FISCAL IRRESPONSIBILITY & MALFEASANCE at the school was also cited in the document (including cost overruns and funds being improperly shifted around at the school).
A letter dated March 3, 2011 (Exhibit #52 in the evidence file) from “Concerned members of the Dickinson State University community” to Goetz, SBHE President Jon Backes, SBHE Vice President Grant Shaft and SBHE Faculty Adviser John Girard cited similar issues and claimed that the Dickinson State University community felt “vulnerable” and feared “retaliation” from McCallum. The letter urged Goetz and other higher ed officials NOT TO RENEW McCallum’s contract at the upcoming June 2011 SBHE meeting.
The vote of no confidence effort against McCallum was never further pursued after the March 2011 DSU Faculty Senate meeting.Tags: Chancellor William Goetz, dickinson state university, North Dakota News, richard mccallum