Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Monday, May 20, 2024
Board of Regents

Many have criticized the UW System Board of Regents’ proposed tenure policy for not protecting academic freedom and due process. 

New tenure policy criticized for falling short of industry standards

The proposed tenure policy for UW System faculty fails to meet industry standards, according to the American Association of University Professors as detailed in a letter sent to the group tasked with creating new tenure protections.

Previously the lone state with tenure protections explicitly written into state law, Gov. Scott Walker eliminated the statute from Wisconsin law in July, arguing the move “modernizes the concept of tenure protection.”

In exchange, the legislation authorized the governor-appointed UW Board of Regents to set new tenure protections. The board’s special task force met Monday to discuss proposed faculty layoff and post tenure review policies. They said they hope to have the tenure policy approved before the end of 2015.

The President of the UW-Madison chapter of the AAUP, associate professor David Vanness, criticized the proposal for streamlining the process for eliminating programs and faculty and leaving tenured faculty powerless in the face of poor performance reviews.

“The proposed policy wouldn't allow a faculty member to challenge a negative review through the well established and necessary process of grievance,” Vanness argued. “That is basic academic due process and it’s necessary to protect academic freedom.”

The Board of Regents has shown few signs of being swayed by faculty complaints, with Regent President Regina Millner explaining after Monday’s meeting, “at no point did ... I ever say this would be lock-step with AAUP.”

According to Vanness, amendments to the current proposal are necessary for the UW System to compete with peer institutions and maintain its prestige.

“I hope they will be responsive,” Vanness said. “Not being in accordance with AAUP guidelines will put us far below our peers and we would stand out as a place where academic freedom is in jeopardy, and that is terrible for recruitment of new faculty and ultimately not in the best interest of the state.”

Support your local paper
Donate Today
The Daily Cardinal has been covering the University and Madison community since 1892. Please consider giving today.

Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Daily Cardinal