Indiana University Bloomington faculty members overwhelming voted ‘no-confidence’ in President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav, Vice Provost Carrie Docherty

BLOOMINGTON— Indiana University Bloomington faculty members overwhelmingly voted “no-confidence” in President Pamela Whitten, Provost Rahul Shrivastav, and Carrie Docherty, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs.

IU President Pamela Whitten

President Colin Johnson summarized the events to call a special faculty meeting. On the evening of March 27th, the Executive Committee of the Faculty Council received a petition signed by more than 200 members of the voting faculty calling for a special meeting of the entire faculty to consider a vote of no confidence in Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Carrie Docherty, Bloomington Provost Rahul Shrivastav, and Indiana University President Pamela Whitten.

Provost Rahul Shrivastav

The petition request stated:
“The current IU administration is encroaching on both academic freedom and shared governance by, among other things, sanctioning faculty and canceling art exhibits at the Eskenazi Museum. These recent actions, when taken together with the administration’s failure to proactively and effectively stand against the Indiana legislature’s violations of academic freedom and faculty protections, its fortunately unsuccessful attempt to separate Kinsey from IU, its disregard toward the 2022 faculty vote in support of graduate student workers, and its refusal to publicly support IU faculty member, Dr. Caitlin Bernard, motivate this petition for an all-faculty meeting to consider a vote of no confidence.”

Carrie Docherty, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs

Key examples included Docherty’s suspension of professor Abdulkader Sinno without a hearing from the Faculty Misconduct Review Committee, the administration’s cancellation of Palestinian artist Samia Halaby’s exhibit at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, the administration’s handling of controversial Senate Bill 202, which restructured the tenure process at Indiana public universities, their rescinded attempt to sever the Kinsey Institute into a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and their refusal to publicly defend faculty member Dr. Caitlin Bernard against Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita after he questioned her medical credentials for performing an abortion for an Ohio rape victim.

In attendance were 948 faculty members for the vote at the IU Auditorium, well over the threshold needed to reach a quorum. As a result, the attending votes were considered the formal “opinion of the faculty.” The total number of eligible faculty to vote at the special meeting was 3,276, meaning less than 30% of eligible faculty participated in the vote. 827 faculty members voted in favor of the no-confidence motion against Whitten – 93%, 29 voted against, and 32 abstained.