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Archive for Thursday, November 25, 2004

UMKC chancellor’s future up in the air

November 25, 2004

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— The head of the University of Missouri system says schools must be headed by an administrator whom professors trust, but he remains undecided on the future of a chancellor given a no-confidence vote.

President Elson Floyd met with professors Tuesday at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where Chancellor Martha Gilliland is a target of criticism.

Last week, Gilliland received no-confidence votes from professors in the university's College of Arts and Sciences, School of Law, Bloch School of Business and Public Administration, and the School of Biological Sciences. The campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors also has said it did not support Gilliland.

Floyd held closed-door meetings with deans, student leaders and about 300 university staff members.

He said a university leader must have faculty support, though he said he did not want to make a hasty decision on Gilliland. Floyd said he would mull the issue over Thanksgiving and return to Kansas City on Monday to meet with community members.

Gilliland angered staff shortly after her arrival in April 2000. Some questioned her decision to pay more than half a million dollars to a California consultant -- a friend of hers -- to lead workshops in which faculty were asked to dream up a better future for the university.

She has continued to clash with staff. Most recently, professors said they should have been consulted on the details of a paper that suggests ways to radically restructure the university.

Gilliland said in a statement that she supported a dialogue on issues facing the university.

"I believe it is important for President Floyd to hear from the many voices that make up this university," she said. "We are committed to addressing concerns and moving forward in support of our students, our faculty, our staff and our community."

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