Resolution to hold referendum of no confidence in President Arminana

Resolved: That the Sonoma State University Academic Senate sponsor a referendum on the resolution of no confidence in President Ruben Armiñana’s leadership as outlined in the ballot below.

Resolved: That the SSU Academic Senate forward the results of the referendum to President Armiñana, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, Chair of the State Senate Higher Education Committee, Chair of the State Assembly Higher Education Committee, California State Auditor General and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rationale:

The United States of America is based on democratic principles, and the Academic Senate of Sonoma State University embraces those principles. Therefore, given the exceptional significance of this issue and the importance of permitting full and direct democratic participation of the faculty on a matter of such consequence, the Academic Senate of Sonoma State University believes that such a referendum should take place.

Ballot for Referendum

Please vote:

Yes, I agree with the following resolution.

No, I do not agree with the following resolution.

Resolved: We, the faculty of Sonoma State University, express no confidence in President Ruben Armiñana’s ability to continue as president to serve our students, faculty and staff and to uphold our University’s academic mission of teaching and learning.

Rationale:

President Armiñana has failed to ensure appropriate levels of funding to support the institutional mission of teaching and learning. Specifically,
  • He has failed to provide adequate resources to support the University’s curriculum and for offering needed classes, supporting student learning, supporting faculty scholarship and research, and maintaining academic quality;
  • He has failed to support adequate co-curricular and residential life planning to support the decision to become a four year residential university, with the result that facilities planning is still largely dominating our planning for growth; and
  • He has failed to respond diligently to documented concerns of our accreditation agency WASC, regarding alignment of resources with mission, campus diversity and attention to upper division course offerings.
His fiscal priorities have left the financial support of student learning dangerously unstable. Specifically,
  • He has failed to develop an effective strategy to deal with the structural deficit inherited when the CSU funding distribution changed in 1992;
  • He has failed to anticipate and plan for extraordinary costs such as those associated with capital construction (for example, the Darwin remodel) and the accreditation of the Business program that have led to a continuous series of assessments against the funding for the core academic mission;
  • He has failed to anticipate the cost overruns of the Green Music Center, and consequently the project continues to threaten funding for our core mission; and
  • He has failed to support a planning model for auxiliaries (Enterprises, Student Union, Residential Life, Parking) that would maximize synergies with the core academic mission and provide fiscal support for that mission.
  • He has exaggerated the management function, inflated public relations and cultivated community interests above teaching and learning to the detriment of our primary mission.

He has failed to engage, utilize, and support the problem-solving capabilities of faculty governance, including failure to follow the new University Consultation Policy which he signed. In addition:

  • He has demonstrated on repeated occasions contempt for the faculty at large and for its elected representatives collectively and individually; and
  • He has presided over an alarming erosion of the consultative checks-and-balances necessary to protect the interests of the public in the mission of the University.

The SSU Academic Senate will forward the results of the referendum to President Armiñana, California State University Chancellor Charles Reed, the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, Chair of the State Senate Higher Education Committee, Chair of the State Assembly Higher Education Committee, California State Auditor General and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Approved by the Senate 5/10/07, 27 - 7 with one abstention

Results of referendum vote from May 14th - May 18th 2007 - 73.4% of faculty voting in the referendum voted no confidence in President Arminana's leadership. The turn out was 68% of eligible faculty. This means that at least 50% of eligible faculty at SSU expressed no confidence.

For more information, including rebuttal statements by the President himself and others, please see this page of the Historical Records section of Senate website.