CAMDEN – Faculty members at Rutgers University’s Camden campus passed resolutions expressing that they have no confidence in the school’s chancellor and provost, following the firing of a dean last month.

The resolutions are nonbinding but express the sentiments of the faculty. The one aimed at Rutgers-Camden Chancellor Antonio Tillis passed 94-56 with 19 votes to abstain, while the aim against Provost Daniel Hart passed 111-37, with 21 abstentions.

Around 85 percent of the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences cast a ballot in the vote, conducted last Wednesday through Friday.

At issue was the firing of Howard Marchitello, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since 2019. He remains a tenured member of the faculty at the school, where he became an English professor in 2007.

Tillis, who became chancellor in July, was questioned about Marchitello at a faculty meeting last week but didn’t provide details behind the personnel decision. He apologized for how the job change was handled in an email to faculty last week, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Faculty members contend the firing was connected to Marchitello publicly criticizing spending levels at Rutgers-Camden, where professors have been protesting the results of a pay-equity initiative.

“This faculty vote is specifically about whether we have trust and confidence in a leadership team that fired a dean mid-semester without a clear explanation or any succession plan in place,” said Jim Brown, an associate professor of English and president of the Camden chapter of Rutgers AAUP-AFT.

“But this isn’t the end of what we need to do in asserting our role in shaping what happens at our campus and our university. This isn’t the end but a beginning—and an invitation to repair the damage that has been done at Rutgers-Camden.”

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“We are the most under-resourced campus within the Rutgers system, and we need a chancellor that will champion us, not punch down on us,” said Keith Green, the director of Africana Studies at Rutgers-Camden and an associate professor of English. “We need a chancellor who favors input and reflection, not top-down decisions or outside consultants.”

Michael Symons is State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at michael.symons@townsquaremedia.com.

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