New tenure provisions advance for UW System
The future of tenure in the University of Wisconsin System has been very contentious ever since the Wisconsin Legislature last summer transferred tenure authority from state statute to the Board of Regents.
I am pleased to report that the Board of Regents appears poised to adopt policies that will ensure our faculty members have strong tenure provisions to preserve academic freedoms across the UW System. The new provisions were adopted unanimously last Friday by the Education Committee of the Board of Regents and will be considered by the full board in March.
A committee chaired by Regent John Behling proposed new tenure language; our own Lopa Basu was a member of the committee.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published an even-handed report on the committee’s actions.
We need strong tenure protections for our faculty in Wisconsin, and I was pleased that the new policy restricts the ability to lay off tenured faculty to when a program has been discontinued and not just modified, as an earlier draft of the policies called for. I also want to thank Lopa for her service on the committee.
Here’s a link to the tenure documents.
A busy Saturday in the Memorial Student Center
Saturday was a busy day in the Memorial Student Center, where I was privileged to address two groups that were meeting next to each other in the ballrooms.
First, I gave an address to the Stout University Foundation Board of Directors, updating members about recent developments at UW-Stout and explaining in some detail about why recent budget cuts have made private fundraising even more important. I always enjoy these discussions with foundation board members, many of whom are alumni and are so passionate about finding ways to ease the fiscal conditions that we are facing at UW-Stout.
I then stepped next door to give a welcome to a gathering of representatives of student government groups from across the UW System. Student government is near and dear to my heart, as I spent three years on the Stout Student Association while I was a student here in the 1970s.
I shared with student government representatives my strong support for shared governance in higher education, which includes the student voice as a key stakeholder. I couldn’t help bragging about our fine university a little—including our 97.1 percent employment rate for new graduates—and to relate that if I could go from a seat on student government to the chancellor’s office, the sky is the limit for student government officeholders.
A deserving award for Multicultural Student Services
I want to publicly congratulate Barbara Miller, director of the UW-Stout Multicultural Student Services office, for the inspirational speech she gave Friday at the Board of Regents meeting in Madison as she accepted a Regents’ Diversity Award on behalf of her office.
Barb spoke passionately about the need for diversity across campus, drawing on her experiences as a Native American and the experiences of the students she comes in contact with in the MSS office. UW System President Ray Cross also spoke about the importance of and critical need for diversity and inclusivity in his prepared remarks.