The UW-Madison Faculty Senate followed up on an April decision by Gov. Scott Walker to allow UW System schools to conduct classified research, by clarifying procedures in a Monday meeting.
Professor Greg Moses started the classified research section of the meeting by giving the final report of the University Committee Faculty Working Group on Classified Research, which was formed under a state bill Walker signed in April.
The group’s report focused primarily on classified research sponsored by the federal government,
Faculty Senate continued by passing a new disability accommodation policy for the university. The offering a variety of recommendations for changes to the current UW-Madison classified research policy.
These recommendations include permitting faculty to participate in classified research so long as it does not interfere with other “essential duties” to their departments and the information gathered from research is more important than publicizing it.
The group’s recommendations also protect faculty members from suffering negative consequences in tenure or promotions for participating in such research and require that participating students and staff not publish their work openly.
Additionally, the working group recognizes that while some circumstances may call for classified research, the open spread of new information and knowledge still stands as a central goal of academic research.
Faculty Senate continued by passing a new disability accommodation policy for the university. The advisory committee in charge of the policy made drastic changes to the old policy after finding it inadequate for the Americans with Disabilities Act standards.
The ADA prohibits discrimination against those with disabilities. This includes providing adequate accommodations for those with disabilities.
The new policy was adopted after associate professor Ellen Samuels, who herself has a disability, referred to the old system as “broken” and “appalling” in its functionality.
The changes include processes for disabled persons to receive reasonable accommodations as well as modifications to training processes and who has access to confidential medical information.