Friday, June 5, 2015

National focus on UW System sharpening over tenure, governance

Journal Sentinel
June 5th, 2015

Already dismayed by prospective cuts to the University of Wisconsin System, higher education observers now suggest the state could become an academic pariah if the Legislature scales back two treasured tenets of academia — tenure and shared governance.
The impact would be far-reaching if language in a GOP plan that expands the reasons tenured faculty could be laid off or terminated wins support of the full Legislature and becomes law, said Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors.
"That effectively will be the end of tenure in Wisconsin," Fichtenbaum said. "I'm not aware of any state that has gone this far. ...I can't imagine anybody taking a job there unless they can't get a job anywhere else. People who can leave, would leave."
Tellingly, one of Fichtenbaum's biggest concerns is that the idea would spread to other states that might be taking a second look at how public university systems are governed and funded.

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