Cal Poly Humboldt President Tom Jackson.


On the heels of a request from the Cal Poly Humboldt chapter of the California Faculty Association, the University Senate general faculty this afternoon passed a vote of “no confidence” in President Tom Jackson and his chief of staff, Mark Johnson, in a resolution that demands their immediate resignation.

The vote comes on the fourth day of a student-led protest and occupation of Siemens Hall — along with one or two other buildings, according to campus administrators, though the activists insist that their occupation is limited to the single academic and administrative building.

The demonstration led to a violent confrontation Monday night between students and officers from multiple law enforcement agencies. The campus was subsequently closed and will remain closed at least through the weekend, according to administrators.

As with demonstrations on college campuses across the country, the students and their supporters at Cal Poly Humboldt are protesting the State of Israel’s actions since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups. They’re calling for an immediate ceasefire and for Palestinian freedom, and the local protesters have issued a list of demands that includes cutting all university ties with Israel.

President Jackson has been notably absent from public view during these events. However, according to Maureen Loughran, field representative for the CFA union’s Humboldt chapter, today’s University Senate faculty vote was about more than Jackson’s actions — or inaction — this week.

“The president’s been pretty MIA for all kinds of issues, and he has been saying things that didn’t seem welcoming and supportive of students in general,” Loughran said. “We felt that he hasn’t been doing his job, so let’s get rid of him.”

Loughran said that the vote of no confidence was not unanimous but “overwhelmingly in support of the resolution,” with more than 180 votes tallied.

[UPDATE: A member of the faculty told the Outpost via email at 5:14 p.m. that the final vote tally, with 200 eligible voters, was 170 “yes” votes, three “no” votes and seven abstentions.]

Official statements from the university have said that protesters have broken numerous laws, including resisting arrest, destroying and damaging property, criminal trespass and more. 

The Los Angeles Times on Thursday reported that university officials condemned “hateful graffiti” that has proliferated across campus, including at least two areas that have been “tagged with language that is harmful to the Jewish community.” Administrators estimate damage to the campus to be “in the millions,” according to the paper.

Here’s the text of the resolution passed this afternoon:

General Faculty
Sense of the Faculty Resolution on
A Vote of No Confidence In President Tom Jackson

25-23/24-EX — April 25, 2024

WHEREAS, On April 22, 2024 students protesting the ongoing war and tragic loss of life of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip entered Siemens Hall; and

WHEREAS, Shortly after students occupied Siemens Hall, the university called on multiple law enforcement agencies to respond, which included dozens of armed, non-university police officers arriving at Siemens Hall wearing body armor and carrying shields; and

WHEREAS, Such a swift and disproportionate police response created unnecessary escalation resulting in physical assault on students and faculty and injury of law enforcement personnel; and

WHEREAS, President Tom Jackson and Chief of Staff Mark Johnson, through their unfamiliarity with the Cal Poly student body mishandled the protest by calling those law enforcement agencies to attempt to extract protestors from Siemens Hall, which led to the injury of students and faculty of Cal Poly Humboldt; and

WHEREAS, It is the responsibility of all members of Cal Poly Humboldt campus community to ensure the safety of our students, now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the General Faculty of Cal Poly Humboldt have no confidence in the leadership of President Tom Jackson and his Chief of Staff Mark Johnson; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the General Faculty demand Cal Poly Humboldt not pursue disciplinary action or legal prosecution against any students for actions taken in connection with the protest and occupation of Siemens Hall; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Faculty and University provide all necessary and reasonable accommodations to ensure that every student has the opportunity to successfully complete their coursework and fulfill their academic requirements for the semester; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the General Faculty demand that Cal Poly Humboldt guarantee full compensation for all student employees irrespective of their ability to perform their usual duties; and be it further

RESOLVED, In keeping with our desire to maintain a campus that is safe for our students and return to the work of educating those students, that the General Faculty of Cal Poly Humboldt demand the immediate resignation of President Tom Jackson and Chief of Staff Mark Johnson; and be it further

RESOLVED, That this resolution be distributed to:

The Office of the Chancellor of California State University
The Academic Senate of California State University
Governor Gavin Newsom, State of California
Senator Mike McGuire, President Pro Tempore of the California Senate
Representative Jared Huffman, US House of Representatives