Dartmouth’s President Is Censured by Faculty Over Protest Actions

The Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Dartmouth College voted on Monday to censure the university’s president, Sian Leah Beilock, over her decision to summon the police to remove a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus, calling her action harmful to the community and disruptive to the university’s educational mission.

The censure motion was adopted by a vote of 183 to 163, according to Justin Anderson, a spokesman for Dartmouth.

The close vote illustrated the division on campus over Dr. Beilock’s decision on May 1, made just hours after the encampment had been erected on the college green. At the meeting, Dr. Beilock defended her actions, saying that she believed there was a reasonable and credible threat of violence.

Monday’s vote was believed to be the first censure vote against a president of Dartmouth in its 255-year history.

In a statement, the university noted that a censure vote had no practical effect. And the chair of Dartmouth’s board, Liz Lempres, applauded Dr. Beilock for her “strong leadership” in nearly impossible circumstances. “The board unequivocally and unanimously supports President Beilock,” she said in a statement.

Eighty-nine people were arrested, including two faculty members, as the police moved in to clear the encampment this month. One faculty member, Annelise Orleck, a labor historian, was knocked to the ground as she tried to grab her phone from a police officer.

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