The chancellor at the University of Wisconsin Madison is reaching out to faculty members about proposed changes to tenure policies.
Language added to the state budget would remove tenure protections for UW faculty from state law, although the Board of Regents and each campus could act to keep them in place. In a message to faculty on Tuesday, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the UW is working to adopt a policy to make that happen, adding that she will not accept anything that is inconsistent with what peer institutions have in place.
Blank said “I want to again reiterate my deep support for and commitment to the principles of tenure. I understand your concerns about the changes recommended in the budget proposed by the Joint Committee on Finance. I have been working with others to address those changes and will continue doing so.”
The Board of Regents last week approved a measure that adds tenure protections to System policy.
Blank also touched on the negative publicity the tenure debate has attracted to the UW, noting that some faculty members are already being asked to consider offers from other institutions. She urged faculty to give the process time to move forward, before answering those calls.
“These political battles are part of being a public institution,” Blank said. “They have forced us to articulate clearly what we do here and why we do it. They have also forced us to constantly reach out to the state, helping build a commitment to the Wisconsin Idea. UW has survived and thrived through past challenges and we will do so again.”
Blank was scheduled to meet with members of the UW-Madison Faculty Senate Tuesday afternoon to discuss tenure and other state budget issues.