Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Affiliated faculty votes against no-confidence in Bernhardt

64 members voted against the no-confidence resolution.
Hongyu Liu
Walker Building of Emerson College

The Affiliated Faculty passed a vote against no-confidence in President Jay Bernhardt on May 8. 

With nearly 40 percent of the 280 affiliated faculty members participating in the vote, 64 members voted against the resolution, 42 voted in favor, and 10 abstained. The vote comes after the faculty assembly voted against a no-confidence resolution and Bernhardt’s resignation, in the wake of concerns about Bernhardt’s leadership in light of the March 22 arrests—where 13 protesters were arrested outside Cutler Majestic Theater—and the April 25 arrests where 118 protesters were arrested at the “Popular University Encampment” in the Boylston Place Alley. 

In an email statement to the Beacon, Bernhardt said the affiliated faculty “play[s] a critical role in the education of our students by sharing their real-world experience and professional expertise.”

“I’m grateful that the voting majority of the affiliated faculty expressed their support during this challenging time at Emerson and throughout higher education,” Bernhardt said in the statement. “We have much work ahead to heal the division within in our community, and I look forward to working with all of our faculty, staff, and students to move Emerson forward together.”

Voting began via email on May 6 and concluded on May 8. Nearly 100 affiliated faculty members attended the special faculty meeting on May 6, but the affiliated faculty did not hold their own meeting last week. The affiliated faculty chose not to follow the same ballot that the full-time faculty used to prevent confusion, according to Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College, American Association of University Professors (AFEC-AAUP) President Barry Marshall.

“I just felt like we should just cut to the chase and say, ‘Do you want to vote no-confidence or not?’” Marshall said to the Beacon.

Marshall added that he doesn’t believe that Bernhardt should take the full blame for the April 25 arrests.

“I think the president got treated unfairly. He’s made some mistakes,” Marshall said. “The [March 25 arrests] was partly his responsibility, and he took responsibility and he apologized. The second arrest was the city. I don’t think he should have been blamed for that.” 

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About the Contributor
Hannah Nguyen
Hannah Nguyen, Editor-in-Chief
Hannah Nguyen (she/her) is a senior journalism major from North Wales, Pennsylvania. Her work has appeared in publications like The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, North Penn Now, Cambridge Day and AsAmNews. Outside of reporting, she enjoys thrifting and painting her nails. (see: https://linktr.ee/hannahcnguyen)

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    Anonymous faculty / May 21, 2024 at 8:55 am

    The reason so few affiliated faculty voted was because the vote was not anonymous. Barry asked faculty to email him directly and this was after Barry previously emailed us to say he supported the president 100%.

    Everyone I know decided not to vote because it wouldn’t pass and then Barry would have a list of people who don’t support the president and there is a fear they would be pushed out