Up-or-Down Votes on Deans? An Unusual System Feeds Tension at U. of Miami

Up-or-Down Votes on Deans? An Unusual System Feeds Tension at U. of Miami 1

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Three times in the past few years, faculty members have voted to oust deans. Twice they’ve been overruled by the university’s president, Donna E. Shalala.

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close Up-or-Down Votes on Deans? An Unusual System Feeds Tension at U. of Miami 1

Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Three times in the past few years, faculty members have voted to oust deans. Twice they’ve been overruled by the university’s president, Donna E. Shalala.

The University of Miami has an unusual system in which all faculty members get a vote—albeit a nonbinding one—on whether to retain their dean. That’s given Miami an even more unusual problem, now that three leading deans have been rejected.

The deans include the heads of Miami’s most financially important school, medicine, and arguably its most renowned, marine science. And despite the faculty rejections, the university’s president, Donna E. Shalala, has