The End of Tenure in Wisconsin?
Last Friday afternoon the Wisconsin Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee declared war on the University of Wisconsin’s faculty. By a vote of 12-4 the Committee approved an omnibus spending bill that would impose drastic budget cuts and, most important, eliminate tenure from state statute. The committee also approved adding new limits to the faculty role in shared governance and procedures for eliminating faculty members in good standing outside of financial exigency. The bill now goes to the state’s Republican-dominated Senate and Assembly, where approval is expected later this month.
The supposed rationale behind the proposals is to give Wisconsin higher education managers the flexibility needed to deal with the budget cut, which the committee also voted to reduce to $250 million over two years from the $300 million originally proposed by Gov. Scott Walker, who is considered a leading candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Earlier this year, Walker…
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