No-confidence In Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) has joined Madison and River Fall in expressing no-confidence in the President of the System and the Board of Regents.  The document is here.  At UWL the vote was unanimous and the Faculty Senate reported:

While it gives no member of the Faculty Senate pleasure to endorse a resolution expressing our lack of confidence in state-level leadership of the UW-System, we believe that there is a moral obligation to decry a pattern of leadership that will continue to produce significant harm to the educational institution that we love and the future students whom we hope to serve. We therefore have chosen to stand with our fellow faculty at UW-Madison, UW-River Falls, and other campuses of the university system – many of whom will be considering similar actions in the upcoming days and weeks.

Sidebar: We are not sure how the evidence of lack of pleasure was gathered.  We would not reach a similar conclusion.  End sidebar.

The 21 whereas items are largely procedural.  As Michael Barone has pointed out all procedural arguments are insincere.  The faculty want more money from the state and, secondarily, strong tenure protection.  Their thinking seems to go: Arguments about procedure work within the academy so they must work outside.

We think the blame should be assigned primarily to the faculty and secondarily to the Board of Regents and the President.  The blame goes primarily to the faculty because they have made themselves difficult to defend for any political segment.  The blame goes secondarily to the Board of Regents because they have been unable to make decisions in the difficult fiscal environment.  If memory serves, there are 26 schools plus Extension in the UW System yet the Board has not chosen to even substantially reduce even one school in recent times.  There was a closure of a very small campus decades ago.  The faculty have brought this on themselves.  Now somebody must make some decisions.  We hope that the Board (rather than the legislature) makes the decisions and that they keep the quality in the System.  Converting two to four current four-year campuses into two-year campuses would be a good choice.  There might be better choices that reduce costs and keep quality.

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