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No-Confidence Motion In Progress Against Chancellor Cheng

Mathew Biadun | Staff Writer

CSCU Chancellor Terrence Cheng. / Photo courtesy of Southern Connecticut State University

The University Senate has passed a motion of No-Confidence against Chancellor Cheng. Elected as Chancellor of and by the Board of Regents in 2021, Chancellor Cheng has grown increasingly unpopular amongst campus faculty and staff. The Senate’s motion listed several reasons for this displeasure. Particularly, his handling of the budget, academic planning, and the search for the new ECSU President.

Ever since its beginning, the process to choose the new ECSU president has been particularly unpopular amongst ECSU staff and faculty. Originally, Eastern staff and faculty had no votes on the committee to choose President Nuñez’s successor. This has since been amended, but is still unpopular. The Motion of No Confidence describes these seats as ‘token representation’ that can be ‘easily outvoted’.

The President of the Eastern Senate, William Lugo, was asked to sign an NDA regarding the process. On October 23rd, he sent an email to the Board of Regents expressing concerns. In particular, two restrictions that hindered his ability to report back to the Senate. He was told that the changes ‘cannot be accepted’. Multiple CSCU administrators and members of the search-committee have been made to sign such NDAs.

In the past, presidential candidate finalists were asked to visit the campus. However, the candidates during this search will not be visiting the campus at all. Nor will candidates attend public forums. These forums (open to faculty, staff, and students) have historically been customary, and are endorsed by CCSU, ECSU, WCSU and SCSU. These forums have not taken place.

Along with concerns about the presidential search, tensions across all state-universities have risen regarding funding-problems. The CSCU 2030 plan, which he spearheaded, has been accused of causing many problems. The resolution accuses it of causing ‘significant staff eductions, cut in student services, and tuition increases…’ while also ‘ballooning the CSCU system office budget, yet [being] unable to fully explain where all the money has gone.’

The problem that kickstarted the no-confidence motion was, perhaps, the academic planning review process implemented in November. This process, pushed onto all CSCU professors, was deeply unpopular. The motion accuses it of having ‘zero faculty input, unrealistic goals and timelines, that produced a largely unusable product, wasting thousands of hours of faculty and staff time’. Professors across the board despised this process, and it is suspected that pressure on their part kickstarted the no-confidence motion.

Regardless of what caused it, the motion has been approved and passed by the Senate. The SGA Senate met on the 29th of January to discuss the matter (students have three votes in the Senate, represented by SGA E-Board members). It agreed that the SGA votes should support the motion. The No-Confidence Resolution serves as a major sign of displeasure against Terrence Cheng’s tenure thus far, and may inspire other schools to do the same. Ultimately, Cheng’s term is indefinite, unless he retires, or is voted out by the Board of Regents. So, his fate remains to be seen.


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