VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE
By Carla Stalling Huntington
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Divorced, in debt and unemployed, Olivia Clarke figured she had nothing to lose if she left California. She was sick of the plastic lifestyle and her family’s lifelong casting her as its scapegoat. Nearly some thirty-five years after her father’s murder she was still haunted by guilt. It was the best time to leave anyway, because all she had left was her dissertation. Actually if she’d felt like she had a choice, she would have just walked away, disillusioned and despairing.
In Kansas City she found peace, spending six months finishing her dissertation, healing, and taking ballet classes—all the while praying for a teaching position. Over forty, female and black, if she opened another letter that told her how qualified she was but she didn’t get the job she would scream.
At what seemed to be the eleventh hour, Western State University in Roadims, Arkansas, offered her an assistant professor position in the school of business. Trepidation pulsed in Olivia’s veins since the university only had five professors of color but she went anyway.
Five years hence with the granting of tenure and promotion, the faculty elected Olivia as Senate President. At nearly the same instant, the Board unexpectedly ousted university President Fonticello who’d been in that role for over twenty-five years. Nobody was prepared for the impact. Without President Fonticello, the guns of university and Republican state politics were drawn, loaded, and aimed at Olivia.
In this novel you’ll experience the real world “faculty versus administration” zero-sum game of public university life exacerbated by the worst economic downturn in US history. Following Olivia’s lead, how would you cast your Vote of No Confidence?
Carla Stalling Huntington, PhD received her doctorate from the University of California, Riverside. She has published scholarly monographs and articles on dance and consumer behavior. A California native, she resides with her husband in Woodland Hills.
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