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
"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