SLU Faculty Senate votes no confidence in Lawrence Biondi, S.J. as SLU President

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Mark Kneupfer, President of the Faculty Senate, announce the results of the vote.

The Faculty Senate voted no confidence in Lawrence Biondi, S.J. as President of Saint Louis University in their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

In a secret ballot vote of 51 senators in favor, 4 against and 2 abstaining, the vote expresses that the faculty do not feel that Biondi is leading the University in the best possible direction.

“This has been building for a long time,” said a faculty represenative from the Department of Political Science, “We can’t seem to imagine a life beyond Biondi, but there’s a whole other world out there.”

Discussion prior to the vote mostly concerned whether or not this was the right time to take the vote and if the Senate should save the vote for a later date, but the majority of senators present agreed that the vote needed to take place.

“I want my mission back,” said a representative from the Department of Theological Studies. “I want this university to be a Catholic, Jesuit university, and I want leadership that I can believe in. How are we going to be top 50, or even top 90, university if we don’t have confidence in our leaders? We need to vote together on this.”

This vote comes after a vote by the Faculty Council of the College of Arts and Sciences two weeks ago expressing no confidence in Biondi in respect to his continued retention and support of Vice President of Academic Affairs, Manoj Patankar, following a previous vote by the Faculty Senate expressing no confidence in the Vice President’s leadership. The vote taken most recently by the Faculty Senate, however, is to express no confidence in the totality of Biondi’s leadership.

Plans are still in the works for what the next step will be, but there is continuing discussion about reaching out to the Board of Trustees and the appropriate way to work with the administration from this point.