Faculty Senate holding faculty vote of no-confidence in WTAMU President

Published: Apr. 17, 2023 at 10:53 AM CDT|Updated: Apr. 17, 2023 at 12:58 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CANYON, Texas (KFDA) - The Faculty Senate is holding a faculty vote of no-confidence in the leadership of West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler.

Today, the Faculty Senate emailed faculty colleagues a letter that says all full-time faculty and full-time professional librarians are eligible to vote.

They will be able to vote for or against the no-confidence vote, which began Monday morning and ends at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21.

“Faculty Senate has taken the position that we have no confidence in the ability of President Walter Wendler to lead WT in a manner that enables our faculty, staff, and administrators to educate and serve our students effectively,” the letter reads.

This comes after Wendler canceled a student-led drag show on campus that was raising money for The Trevor Project. Since then, two students and FIRE, a free speech organization, filed a lawsuit against Wendler.

The resolution states the reasons the Faculty Senate has no confidence in Wendler’s leadership, which ties back to when he canceled the drag show on campus.

The document says he violated the university’s rule pertaining to protected campus speech, violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and that his “actions have resulted in litigation that tarnishes the reputation” of WT.

The resolution also says Wendler has encouraged prospective students to go to a community college rather than a four-year university.

“President Wendler has continued to encourage prospective students to attend community college for the first two years of their higher education despite declining enrollment in community college transfers to WT,” the resolution says.

The document also brings up when Wendler was chancellor of Southern Illinois University - Carbondale, before he was demoted in 2006. The resolution says his dismissal at the university was because of “conflicting leadership styles” and “cooperation problems.”

“This pattern of behavior and tainting of associated universities preceded President Wendler’s inauguration as WT president, including charges of “intellectual dishonesty,” the document states.

The resolution was also sent to Chancellor Sharp, the Board of Regents, Provost Terry, the Texas Council of Faculty Senates, WT Staff Council, WT student government, and Wendler.