Article by Cora Hall and Grant Siddall | News Editor and Torch Reporter
CORRECTION: The number of FFA members who participated in the vote of no confidence was originally reported as 366, which is incorrect. It has since been corrected to 270.
The Ferris Faculty Association (FFA) released the results of their vote of no confidence in President David Eisler at 1:14 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27.
The vote took place Tuesday, Sept. 25, and Wednesday, Sept. 26. Of the 270 FFA members who participated in the vote, 239 (88.5 percent) voted in agreement with the sentiment of no confidence in the leadership of Eisler.
“The vote of no confidence in David Eisler by the Ferris State University faculty was an overwhelming repudiation of his leadership and integrity,” Ferris English professor and FFA Vice President John Caserta said.
The vote of no confidence was held due to the FFA’s disappointment in the contract negotiation process. According to the FFA’s Resolution of No Confidence, some factors contributing to the vote include Eisler’s overtime pay and salary bonuses, the hiring of a chief negotiator that is costing the university a large sum of money and lack of discussion in the negotiations regarding issues such as healthcare and wage increases.
According to Ferris physical science professor and FFA President Charles Bacon, the FFA cannot impeach Eisler because they did not elect him. Therefore, the vote of no confidence has no legal implications and is simply a statement of the FFA’s stance on Eisler’s leadership.
Eisler has yet to respond to the result of the vote, but in his official response on Sept. 24, he said he has “endeavored to read every comment and response received” and posted lengthy responses to the statements in the FFA’s resolution of no confidence.
“During my 15 years as president of Ferris, I have embraced the challenges that come along with being a university president,” Eisler said in the statement. “I have devoted myself and my energies to building what I believe it a great and consequential University and have worked tirelessly for our University, its faculty and staff, and our students.”
Ferris Board of Trustees Chair Paul Boyer sent out a university-wide notice Friday, Sept. 28, expressing the Board of Trustees’ support of Eisler and their disappointment in the vote of no confidence.
“The vote of no confidence taken by the Ferris Faculty Association this week was a tactic used to pressure the University during contract negotiations. Doing so during a time when the University is working tirelessly to recruit and enroll students to this great institution is deeply disappointing; it undermines the recruitment efforts of many and tarnishes the University’s reputation,” Boyer said in the university-wide notice.
Some students were surprised by the results of the vote and the timing of releasing the results during homecoming week.
“I didn’t expect them to overwhelmingly vote no confidence,” Ferris data analytics freshman Miranda Bouren said. “I get the motivation behind doing it this week, I do understand it. I just don’t necessarily agree with it.”
Other students agreed with faculty in their resolution and were upset with the money spent on outside lawyers.
“That’s ridiculous, they don’t need outside people to settle internal matters with the admin and faculty,” Ferris applied math and computer science senior Jonathon Wilson said. “I don’t think anything is really going to come of the vote of no confidence. That email that the admin sent out was pretty ridiculous, not going to lie. It was basically like ‘how could they do this to us,’ even though it’s a vote and the faculty had to vote to see if they had confidence in their president. I think he should step down. I’ve thought that for a while.”
Contract negotiations between the FFA and the university will continue Tuesday, Oct. 2.