Salsbury message on Capitol violence still under scrutiny

WCU faculty senate gathering feedback. DEII releases statement

[ By Mark Reaman ]

The message sent by Western Colorado University President Greg Salsbury after the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol Building continues to make waves on campus. Salsbury in an internal email to faculty and staff on January 7 criticized the violence that emerged but also correlated similar violence to last summer’s protests and violence that centered on race issues. That caused consternation among some faculty and students.

On Tuesday, January 19 the WCU board of trustees met in executive session to receive legal advice and “consider personnel matters.” Afterward, trustee Pamela Shaddock made a motion for “the creation of an Ad Hoc committee of the Board to create an Action Plan to address the important allegations made by various constituencies since January 6.”

No specific allegations were identified nor was there a timeline announced to release findings about an action plan.

Meanwhile the faculty senate met last week and decided before taking any official action, further feedback was needed.

“A vote of no-confidence was suggested by a faculty member who is not a Senator in the January 11 meeting,” explained Faculty Senate chair Brad Burton. “It was discussed by Senators as one of a number of possibilities but seems to have become the focus of the press. No decision has yet been made on whether or not further action is warranted. Senate does not have a procedure in its Bylaws or in the Faculty Constitution for a no-confidence vote. Any action taken would be in the form of a motion or a resolution.

“In the January 11 Senate meeting, Senators were charged with collecting the concerns of faculty members in the Departments that they represent,” Burton added. “The Senate Parliamentarian is gathering this feedback from Senators. If it appears that a majority of faculty are in support of taking further action, then a Senate meeting will be held to discuss the feedback and determine what action would be appropriate.”
WCU’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Internationalization Committee sent out a statement about the Salsbury communication (see page 4). Among other issues, it stated that, “Participants in higher education are called to heed scholarship for guidance when discerning the nature of complicated social events. And when, in their official public roles as university leaders, individuals attempt to characterize major social events, Western’s community expects them to prioritize scholarly precision over personal opinion (however much we all value a right to the free expression of personal viewpoints)…. the DEII Committee condemns the violence of January 6, names it as a coup attempt, decries the seditious speech and falsehoods that motivated it, and calls upon Western’s President to publicly do the same.”
And on it goes…

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