Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Change in Tone

Inside Higher Ed
June 9th, 2015

Like many university leaders, Chancellor Rebecca Blank of the University of Wisconsin at Madison has had her ups and downs with the faculty. She butted heads with some professors in her support for a now-dead plan to make the university system into a more autonomous public authority, for example, but earned faculty praise when she defended professors against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s suggestion that faculty members might be shirking their teaching responsibilities.
But perhaps no time in Blank's two-year tenure has been rockier than right now, with the faculty in uproar over a legislative plan to eliminate tenure from state statute, greatly broaden the circumstances under which tenured faculty members may be fired, and limit the legal definition of shared governance. While Blank has no ties to the proposed legislative language, faculty members have called her out on social media and elsewhere for what they see as her failure to sufficiently defend them from the Legislature.

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