President Gibson Allegedly Says Members of Faculty Senate “Individually Responsible” for No Confidence Vote

Gibson allegedly communicated this to the Faculty in front of members of two committees at different times before the Holiday break.

Erwin Lopez Rada, News Editor

NEIU’s institutional crisis evolved quickly. A failure of the school to meet enrollment and retention goals for Fall 2022 triggered a no confidence vote on Nov. 15, 2022 against President Gibson’s performance by the Faculty Assembly – 89% of the assembly vote indicated that they have no confidence.

But a lot more seems to have happened in this timeframe behind closed doors and the well mannered emails.

Dr. Gibson allegedly said she holds members of the Faculty Senate “individually responsible” for the outcome of the confidence vote in the Senate on her during a Steering meeting on Oct. 19, 2022, according to people with knowledge of the events at the meetings.

President Gibson also allegedly said Dr. Nancy Wrinkle was responsible for failing to speak out against flyers contrary to the President’s administration that had been placed under the doors of faculty offices as the confidence vote on Gibson was ongoing. This allegedly happened during an Executive Council Meeting held on Nov. 16, 2022.

During a Senate Faculty Meeting on Nov. 22, Dr. Wrinkle acknowledged what the president had allegedly said about the flyers and the confidence vote, saying that, “The speech of a group of faculty to the rest of the faculty and personalize it against the chair of the Senate. This was her only response [to the confidence vote and NEIU’s crisis].”

The Chair of the Faculty Union, Dr. Nancy Matthews, said to The Independent that Dr. Gibson does not have the trust of faculty because “The leadership of the university has not been effective in the last several years. And of course, we know that COVID-19 pandemic created a lot of unprecedented challenges. But even looking beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen the leadership, especially the President and the Vice President levels, make decisions that seem to be taking us on a path that is destroying the university.”

Dr. Wrinkle is in the year-long process of becoming a full tenured professor, the last step in her career and a promotion that hinges on President Gibson’s decision.

Dr. Kenneth Voglesonger, Director of the Student Center for Science Engagement, and one of the attendants to the Senate Steering Committee quit the Faculty Senate before the holiday break and had not answered our request for comment.

Professor Timothy Duggan from the Educational Inquiry and Curriculum Studies Department, another attendant to that meeting, said, “no comments.”

Dr. Matthews said, regarding Dr. Wrinkle performance, that, “I think Nancy Wrinkle has been extremely responsible and professional, in all of the ways that she has handled this process, how she’s handled her leadership of the Faculty Senate.”

Dr. Wrinkle said regarding NEIU’s institutional crisis that, “There are concerns about what the transition plan will be. And, you know, fallout from the Board of Trustees announcement has been that we’re all looking to the Board of Trustees for some sort of plan or some sort of reassurance and nothing is coming.” 

Neither NEIU’s administration nor President Gibson answered our requests for comment on. Gibson is finishing her tenure at NEIU in June 2023.

Dan Maurer contributed to this report.