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Loyola Board of Trustees Affirms Leadership of President and Provost

Loyola press release - September 29, 2006

Loyola Board of Trustees Affirms Leadership of President and Provost

On Tuesday, September 26, 2006, the Council of Chairs in the College of Humanities and Natural Sciences at Loyola University New Orleans called a meeting of its College’s faculty members in which a vote of no confidence in the president and provost of the university took place.

Eighty faculty members voted and passed two separate motions, the first being one of 61 to 19 in a vote of no confidence in the president the Rev. Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., Ph.D., and the second a motion of 70 to 10 in a vote of no confidence in Walter Harris, Jr., Ph.D.

The faculty’s discontent centers on the process and results of the restructuring of the University after Hurricane Katrina. The restructuring resulted in the elimination of several academic programs and the dismissal of 17 tenured faculty members. Fr. Wildes and Dr. Harris were given a mandate at the December 2005 meeting of the University Board of Trustees to restructure the university to secure its financial stability in the post-Katrina environment. The University faced a $15 million budget deficit.

The Board approved the reorganization of the University at its May 2006 meeting. Board Chair Ted Frois commented on the vote of no confidence by saying, “The Board of Trustees is confident in the leadership of the University and affirms the direction and vision set forth by Fr. Wildes and Dr. Harris.”

In commenting on the vote, Fr. Wildes says, “I take very seriously this vote by the faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences. I hope through continued conversations with the faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences we will begin to heal this breach so that together we can continue to build an even stronger University.”

The College of Humanities and Natural Sciences has 110 full-time faculty members with 90 of those eligible to vote. Loyola has 202 full-time faculty members university-wide in five colleges.

Loyola University is a Jesuit-Catholic institution with a total student enrollment of 4,724 including 800 law students.

Fr. Wildes is beginning his third year as president.