NEIU Faculty Assembly Passes Vote of No Confidence in Interim Provost Evans

With 179 votes counted, 145 (81%) of Northeastern Illinois University’s Faculty Assembly indicated they do not have confidence in Interim Provost, Andrea Evans with only 34 faculty members (19%) voted that they do have confidence. The turnout for the vote was 35%, and only a 25% voter turnout is needed for the votes to be valid. Previous confidence votes by the Faculty Assembly have had less than a 50% turnout.


Evans was hired in 2018 to be the Director of the Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies (CCICS). Two years later, in 2020, she was appointed Interim Dean of the Goodwin College of Education. Then, in 2022, President Gloria Gibson appointed her to be Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.


The Faculty Senate has accused Evans of mandating budget cuts and academic reorganization without providing any rationale.


In January 2023, NEIU’s Faculty Senate made a motion to request “immediate intervention to prevent any further damages to the university.” This was the result of NEIU’s Board of Trustees, appointed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, receiving a no-confidence vote in a 188-16 vote last December.


According to the motion, the Board of Trustees decided not to renew President Gibson’s contract, “but announced no plan for transition to new leadership, retaining the President—despite their action of non-renewal and the faculty’s overwhelming vote of no-confidence—for another seven months, with full ‘authority and responsibility’ until June 30, 2023 and as a result, have empowered her to carry out an unknown agenda involving over $18,000,000 of Illinois taxpayer funding over the remaining fiscal year, without accountability.”


The results of the vote in Evans have been communicated to the Chair of the Board of Trustees, President Gloria J. Gibson, and Evans herself.


This comes just months after President Gibson received a vote of no confidence from NEIU’s Faculty Assembly last November, which had been her second vote of no confidence in her career. In 2012, the University of Northern Iowa faculty passed a motion of no confidence against Gibson, who at the time, served as Provost of the university in an overwhelming 172-69 vote with nine abstentions and one spoiled ballot.


In a special meeting on May 4, 2023, NEIU’s Faculty Senate passed a motion for the Faculty Assembly to give a confidence or no-confidence vote on Evans. The motion passed by a vote of 9-8 with two abstentions.


Sociology professor Aneta Galary, one of the nine votes in favor of the motion, told The Independent in a statement, 


“I do not think that we should give Provosts or Presidents second chances when so many members of our society do not even get one chance. Likewise, we should treat incompetent Provosts and Presidents the same way we treat other incompetent employees. No double standards. The no-confidence vote at the University of Northern Iowa meant that the faculty rejected Gloria Gibson for lacking credibility as a leader (Provost). I do not know what the reasoning of the NEIU search committee was when they decided to give her a second chance. If a dentist in Cedar Falls, Iowa, lost the confidence of most of her patients because instead of filling cavities, she extracted their otherwise healthy teeth, no one would think—I hope—that after taking a one-hour flight to Chicago, she would become an expert on composite fillings and should be promoted to chief dentist. I am afraid that that is exactly the kind of wishful thinking that took place. President Gibson was given a second chance when she was hired by NEIU. She was allowed to gamble with the lives of other people—NEIU students, prospective students, faculty, and staff—and the future of our university—using millions of Illinois taxpayers’ money and NEIU students’ tuition dollars. There is something patently wrong, irrational, and unjust about the system that allowed this to happen, and, paradoxically, continues to allow Gloria Gibson to collect her massive, and undeserved, salary, while she bears no responsibility for her bad decisions, incompetence, and mis-leadership.”


The Independent reached out to Evans and the administration, but neither responded for comment.