In an overwhelming vote, Lehigh University faculty have decided to move forward with presenting a motion to rescind President Donald Trump’s honorary degree to the board of trustees.
Of the 357 faculty members who participated, 83 percent voted in support of the motion, 14 percent voted against it and 3 percent chose to abstain.
Only assistant, associate and full professors were eligible to vote, giving 472 faculty members the option to participate. Professors of practice, lecturers, instructors and adjunct professors were not able to vote.
Doug Mahony, the chair of the faculty steering committee, said the vote was an example of faculty members using the processes and procedures of the university to advance their perspective.
“The faculty spoke, and I think spoke rather strongly, in terms of the number of faculty participating and the overwhelming support of the motion as written,” he said.
Mahony said the results of the faculty’s electronic vote will be conveyed to the board of trustees. From there, it is up to board members to determine when and how best to proceed with the motion.
Last year, they voted to take “no action” on a 30,000-signature petition regarding the matter.
Ziad Munson, an associate professor of sociology, previously told The Brown and White the motion is important because, regardless of the board’s ultimate decision, the faculty’s position will become part of university record.
“It will be part of the permanent history of Lehigh,” Mahony said.
In a Feb. 27 referendum, Student Senate also announced its support of the motion and requested a written explanation should the board of trustees choose not to vote in its favor.