At 5:54 p.m. Gulf Standard Time, I received an e-mail from Helios Voting:
As approved by a vote of the FAS faculty held on Dec. 13, 2012, the Faculty Senators of FAS is administering a vote on the proposition that “The Faculty of Arts and Science has no confidence in President Sexton’s leadership,” during the week of March 11-15.
The voting will take place electronically, using the web-based system Helios Voting. The Helios Voting system has been recommended by experts in the field as providing the highest level of reliability and anonymity currently technically feasible for web-based voting.
This email is an electronic ballot from heliosvoting.org, containing your username and password and the web address of the online election. Please be sure to save this information for possible future use. The voting procedure is essentially self-explanatory. The election will be closed and the tally made public on Friday March 15 at 6:00 PM.
At 6:16 p.m. after wading through a number of screens that enabled me to cast my vote, authenticate my credentials, and guarantee the anonymity of my choice, I received an e-mail confirming that my vote had been successfully cast.
I eschew anonymity, however, and hereby declare that I disagreed with the motion stating that “the Faculty of Arts and Science has no confidence in John Sexton’s leadership.” I do have confidence, and I will be explaining why here at patell dot org over the next few days.
I note that by 6:16 p.m. GST 56 of my colleagues had already voted. I further note that the site tells me that there are 682 eligible voters. An interesting number.
A couple of other notes.
First, I was disenfranchised from the vote to hold this vote of no-confidence, because — despite the fact that this year is my twentieth in a tenure-track and then tenured position at NYU — I was unable to be in the room when that vote was precipitously held at the end of the semester, due to my assignment abroad. Seemingly unconcerned with disenfranchising many of their colleagues, the organizers of that December 2012 vote made no attempt to use the technologies that are available to us in the twenty-first century to create a fair voting procedure.
Second, my wife, who is a member of the faculty of the Liberal Studies Program — a program that is a part of the Faculty of Arts Science — did not receive a ballot. She’s been disenfranchised because she belongs to a program that consists of non-tenure-track faculty. Apparently, the organizers of the vote don’t care whether those colleagues have confidence. Bravo.
I’m filing this post under the category “Politics.” And “NYUAD” — though that one gives me pause, because its parent category is “Scholarship and Teaching.” And I’m not convinced that this vote is about those things.
Guess who else didn’t get a ballot? I think probably enfranchisement coincided with residence in the faculty housing that would be inconvenienced by the contemplated construction project. Or am I just cynical?
I’m glad that at least one faculty member feels this way. I hope many of your colleagues show such fair and rationale thought as well.