Some aspects of proposed tenure policies will not fully protect against academic freedom for the UW System, according to a joint statement by the American Association of University Professors and the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of Teachers.
In a July 2015 response to Gov. Scott Walker’s removal of tenure from state law among other proposed alterations to the UW System, the AAUP and AFT-Wisconsin asked the UW System Board of Regents to implement policies and standards designed to protect academic freedom and tenure. They also asked administrators and staff to promote these policies on campus.
“The AAUP’s provisions on academic freedom and tenure are widely recognized as standards for sound academic practice and have been adopted by a large number of institutions of higher education,” the groups said in the statement.
However, the two organizations expressed concern that some aspects of the policies would be insufficient to protect against program discontinuance and faculty layoffs.
“We remain concerned about the primary purpose of the legislative changes,” the organizations said in the statement. “And we will have to reserve judgment as to the adequacy of the proposed policies to safeguard these bedrocks of US higher education until we see how they will be applied within the UW System.”