A simmering protest against the chancellor of Minnesota's 31 state universities and colleges continued to build steam this week, with two more faculty groups voting no confidence in Steven Rosenstone.
Late Monday, no-confidence votes were approved by the faculty senate at Bemidji State University and the executive committee of the Southwest Minnesota State University Faculty Association in Marshall.
In all, faculty members at five of the seven state universities have joined in the growing protest, saying they object to Rosenstone's handling of an ambitious plan to reshape the 54 campuses in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) system.
Among other things, the plan, called Charting the Future, encourages more collaboration, online education and other innovations across the sprawling system, which enrolls more than 400,000 students.
Rosenstone's office issued a brief statement Tuesday, saying: "We continue to be disappointed that the faculty union leaders are employing this tactic to further their goal of stopping the critical conversations that make up Charting the Future."
Two weeks ago, the faculty unions representing all seven state universities and 24 two-year state colleges announced that they were withdrawing from participation in Charting the Future because of "concerns about trust and transparency in the process."
Vicky Brockman, president of the Southwest State faculty, issued a statement Monday expressing concern that the plan "could harm outstate campuses and have a negative economic impact on the region."
In the past two weeks, no-confidence votes also have been approved by faculty groups at Winona State, St. Cloud State and Minnesota State University, Mankato.