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Published: Wednesday, 4/16/2008

Faculty group declares lack of confidence in a UT dean


The University of Toledo s arts and sciences council yesterday sent a message to the administration that it does not support the actions of the college s dean.

By a 42-7 vote, which was conducted by secret ballot, the group representing UT s college of arts and sciences approved a resolution saying it has no confidence in the dean to lead the college.

Yueh-Ting Lee has been the dean since Aug. 8. He is paid $175,000 a year.

Simply put, he just hasn t been representing the needs of the college, said David Davis, chairman of the council.

The executive committee plans to meet later this week to finalize what led to the vote and then give that information to Provost Rosemary Haggett.

Mr. Davis said it is the council s intent that Mr. Lee resign.

The concerns expressed yesterday include that Mr. Lee does not listen to faculty and only does what the university administration tells him to do.

There are several proposals for department mergers that faculty said are being pushed upon them with rapid deadlines and without their input.

Several professors also were concerned that the dean did not support the college during ongoing discussions of budget reallocations.

This is not the type of leadership we need in this college, said Kathleen Thompson-Casado, associate professor in the foreign languages department. Our arts and science members have confidence in us, and we re here to serve them. We can t let them down.

Mr. Lee is part of a delegation that left yesterday for Toledo s sister city of Qinhuangdao, China, to strengthen UT s partnership with Yanshan University. He could not be reached for comment.

Ms. Haggett said she is disheartened by the council s action, but will accept its input.

Mr. Lee came to UT from Minot State University in North Dakota, where he was dean of the college of arts and sciences as well as a professor of social and cross-cultural psychology.

On Monday, the UT board of trustees expressed concerns similar to those of the provost, noting that they too did not know what led to the action.

Trustees also said they are pleased with the state of the college and what Mr. Lee is doing to implement the university s strategic plan.

Mike Betz, outgoing president of the student government, spoke both at the trustee and council meetings in support of Dean Lee s work with students and urged that he be given a chance to prove himself.

Dean Lee has done everything in his short term to become an ambassador [for a declining] college of arts and sciences, Mr. Betz said.

Contact Meghan Gilbert at: mgilbert@theblade.com or 419-724-6134.

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