BOISE – Idaho State University President Arthur Vailas, facing mounting criticism and pressure from faculty to step down, offered his own solution Thursday for dealing with turmoil on campus: Dissolve the faculty Senate.
The Idaho State Board of Education complied, voting unanimously to suspend the Senate and reconfigure its bylaws.
The decision deals a blow to faculty leaders who have been feuding with Vailas for two years. Among other complaints, professors say Vailas has shown an inability to effectively lead the school.
Last week, 76 percent of Senate members supported a no-confidence vote and called on Vailas to step down from a job he’s held since 2006.
Board President Richard Westerberg said that under the circumstances, the best decision was to throw support behind Vailas and give him the chance to take charge and make things work at the Pocatello campus.
“That’s up to our president to make happen,” the board’s vice president, Ken Edmunds, said after Thursday’s meeting in Boise.
A plan to restructure the faculty Senate and its bylaws will be presented at April’s board meeting.