College News

University Committee discusses Westboro Baptist Church, tenure, gender equality

Chancellor Rebecca Blank addressed members of the University Committee Monday about issues such as tenure and meningococcal disease.

Image By: Jake Skubish

The University Committee discussed a number of topics ranging from the Westboro Baptist Church visiting campus to faculty childhood care at its meeting Monday.

Associated Students of Madison Chair Carmen Goséy spoke at the beginning of the meeting about the infamously hateful, anti-LGBTQ church’s impending Thursday visit. The committee discussed possible actions faculty could take, such as hosting an alternative campus event or urging faculty and students to wear rainbow colors.

Goséy also discussed legislation ASM recently passed recognizing Indigenous Peoples Day, and asked the committee to consider putting a similar recognition on the faculty calendar.

Provost Sarah Mangelsdorf spoke to the committee, bringing up a survey the university conducted which demonstrated the lack of information potential UW-Madison students have about available honors programs. Mangelsdorf said the university doesn’t use its honors programs as a recruiting device as much as peers do, although doing so may run counter to the idea that any UW-Madison student has the potential to be an honors-level student.

The committee also discussed post-tenure review policy with Chancellor Rebecca Blank, focusing on urging the Board of Regents to support having a second review for tenured faculty.

“I remain hopeful that we can persuade them to accept a second review if it’s clear that a second review is not a grievance procedure,” said University Committee Chair Thomas Broman.

Blank also updated the committee on the status of meningococcal disease on campus. Blank said vaccinations will begin Thursday, as there were worries that other campuses with similar situations did not act quickly enough. She said the state will pay for the vaccinations for undergraduate students.

Representatives from the Committee on Women in the University also presented highlights from a recent report they conducted. The report emphasized the need for a strategic campus plan to organize childcare for faculty, which they said has a waiting list 150 percent larger than capacity. The report also focused on the committee’s efforts to gather data on gender disparities in areas like salary and tenure.

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