11/13/99, Burlington Free Press


Course Changes
Part of Dispute at Goddard

The Associated Press

PLAINFIELD - The Goddard College faculty this week overwhelmingly supported a vote of no confidence in college president Barbara Mossberg.

The faculty has called for the resignation of Mossberg and board of trustees Chairman Paul Blanc.

More than two-thirds of the faculty participated, voting 35 to 6 to approve the noconfidence resolution, and 42 to l in support of several grievances that were filed earlier this week.

Mossberg and Blanc have dismissed the vote as little more than a college tradition at Goddard.

Faculty and students have been locked in battle to prevent Mossberg and the board from changing the curriculum without their approval, as called for in Goddard's original mission statement and governance document.

The faculty is particularly concerned that Mossberg recently accused it of jeopardizing the future of the college because of a narrow, leftist, political academic agenda.

Other grievances include: increasing disregard for the "collaborative nature of Goddard's mission and governance process;" failure to seek input from faculty and program directors on currently threatened and proposed new curricula; and stripping power from academic and staff committees.

The faculty is also concerned about a breakdown in communication for lack of a chief academic officer.

The vote and list of grievances follow bitter protests by students and faculty when the board proposed charter changes ending the traditional "shared governance" role of students and faculty and giving the board "absolute power" in deciding what and how students learn at the college.

There is concern at another proposal to change Mossberg's status on the board from an exofficio to full member, raising questions of a conflict of interest.

For its part, the board has given its "unequivocal support" to Mossberg, who wants to combat stagnant enrollment and ongoing budget crises by broadening the college curriculum to attract new money and students.