UHV faculty issues vote of no-confidence in provost

May 11, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.
Updated May 12, 2011 at 12:12 a.m.

Some members of the University of Houston-Victoria faculty on Friday expressed through a vote no confidence in the university's No. 2 administrator.

During a faculty council meeting, members voted to issue the no-confidence in the university's provost and vice president for academic affairs, Suzanne LaBrecque.

LaBrecque, who was appointed to the job in 2006, said about a third of the faculty took part in the vote.

"I'm pretty disappointed in the vote, especially given all the accomplishments and positive strides we've made at UHV this academic year," LaBrecque said.

All full-time faculty members who have held their position for more than a year are eligible to vote in the council meetings. The council makes recommendations to the president and the provost on matters regarding the faculty.

Numerous members of UHV faculty declined to comment about the vote. Inquiries were directed to the faculty senate president, Jane Fry, who refused several attempts for comment.

LaBrecque said the vote surprised her, and she didn't have an explanation about why the faculty would express dissatisfaction with her.//

"I have no idea. No one has talked to me about it," she said.

Interim President Don Smith spoke about the council and votes of no-confidence in general, but would not comment on the particular instance with LaBrecque.

Smith, who was UHV provost before LaBrecque, said it's not necessarily rare for faculty members at an academic institution to express sentiments of no-confidence.

"Obviously, these kinds of votes are a serious kind of matter, and in an academic setting, faculty sentiments deserve respect," he said.

LaBrecque noted there are no provisions in the faculty manual for a vote of no-confidence.

Smith said the vote "means what it means," but was unable to provide specific complaints against LaBrecque.

He said he made a few opening remarks at the biannual council meeting, but he was not present for the vote.

"The council is its own body. I don't tell them how to run their business," Smith said.

Smith said the implications of the vote remain to be seen.

"This is something that will play out over time. What it may mean or what may come to pass is still to be decided," he said.

Meanwhile, LaBrecque mentioned the achievements the university has made under her leadership, like repositioning to become a four-year institution, higher-than-expected enrollment, the development of a new core curriculum and hiring of new faculty to teach freshmen.

"I don't have any current plans to resign," she said. "We have really important business and a lot more to accomplish here at UHV. We're really growing and developing into a fine institution."



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