Discussion of Faculty B Voting Rights

After Dean of Faculty Temba Maqubela referred to faculty members eligible to vote regarding the Athletic requirement, Instructor in Religion and Philosophy Vincent Avery questioned whether that group encompassed the entire faculty. In the past, the policy has been that faculty members may choose to abstain when they don’t feel qualified to vote on an issue. According to Mr. Avery, it seemed as if Mr. Maqubela was taking Faculty B off the list of eligible voters. Avery said, “I raised the question ‘was that the case’ and it seemed that it indeed was the case.” The administration formed Faculty B to relieve certain faculty members of night and weekend responsibilities like house counseling. Faculty B is also ineligible for free Academy housing. Many faculty members found it unfair that Faculty B did not have the option to vote. “No one was trying to slide anything by anyone. I think it was sort of a misunderstanding,” said Mr. Avery. Maqubela cited the Faculty Handbook, in which a footnote about voting on educational programs reads, “Effective outcomes to faculty votes depend upon informed decisions. Thus the accepted practice among faculty members has been to abstain from voting in situations where they are not informed about the context and matters under consideration or when those matters are not relevant to their work.” According to Mr. Avery, members of Faculty B often choose to abstain from voting because they don’t interact with students as much. Those faculty members who feel uninformed or indifferent regarding educational policies always have the choice to abstain from voting. While Faculty B members have never been obligated to abstain from voting, it has been a common choice for those in areas that are removed from the student body. These include employees in the Development Office and the Office of Human Resources. College Counselors exemplify the group of Faculty B members that are more involved and informed about students at Andover. At the meeting, Mrs. Chase asked for a straw vote in which faculty members overwhelmingly favored keeping the current policy. Mrs. Chase announced that all faculty members would retain their rights to vote. Faculty and administrators ended the meeting on good terms.