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Two groups to vote on McKinney

Two groups to vote on McKinney

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By VIMAL PATEL

vimal.patel@theeagle.com

Citing concerns about shared governance, improper influence and "irresponsible behavior," a pair of Texas A&M University groups have drafted resolutions of "no confidence" in A&M System Chancellor Mike McKinney.

Members of the Council of Principal Investigators can vote on the resolution online until 4 p.m. Friday. The group of about 40 people represents about 2,500 members of the Texas A&M research community.

The Texas A&M University Faculty Senate is scheduled to vote on its no-confidence resolution at a special meeting Tuesday in Room 601 of Rudder Tower.

The resolutions follow the recent resignation of Texas A&M President Elsa Murano after a rift with McKinney.

"I don't think they expect that this will change the board's mind or the chancellor's mind," said Robert Bednarz, speaker of the Faculty Senate. "But the faculty [members] just don't see any other action they can take. They simply want to officially go on record objecting to the chancellor's statements and actions."

Rod Davis, a spokesman for McKinney, said in an e-mail that the CPI resolution "is without foundation or substance and thus cannot be addressed." He declined to comment further.

The CPI resolution lists eight concerns about McKinney, including:

* Presiding over a recent Board of Regents policy that allows selection of a president who hasn't been vetted by a search committee.

* His influence over standard search committee procedures in the search for Texas A&M University vice president for research.

* Advocating for the National Center for Therapeutics Manufacturing, which received $50 million from the state's Emerging Technology Fund, despite a report from the Office of the President that stated the financial risk would be too high.

The resolution concludes: "We believe the best interests of this great institution and, indeed, the entire Texas A&M University System, hinge on the prompt appointment of a new Chancellor who can work constructively with our faculty, students, president and the Board of Regents."

The Faculty Senate resolution calls on the Board of Regents to rescind the presidential appointment policy, create a committee that includes "several constituencies" to search for the next Texas A&M president and postpone the plan to merge certain services between the 48,000-student College Station campus and the system that governs it until a new president is selected.

Also on Wednesday, the 24-member task force charged by former Texas A&M University President Elsa Murano with defining shared governance met for the first time since Murano resigned last week.

Members cited concerns about the six-month time frame for the search for the new Texas A&M president and the goal of having a set of teams make recommendations by September about where to merge the services between the two entities.

"This does not reflect best practices," said Douglas Palmer, dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

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