UW System Leaders Face 'No Confidence' Measure From Madison Faculty

UW System President Ray Cross faces a faculty “no confidence” vote.

University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Faculty Senate will vote Monday on a controversial measure to declare “no confidence” in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents. The resolution comes after regents adopted new systemwide tenure policies in March.

UW-Madison Professor Chad Alan Goldberg, who is also president of Madison’s chapter of United Faculty and Academic Staff, wrote the resolution. He said it’s about more than changes to tenure.

“Discontinuing academic programs on the basis of non-educational considerations, curtailing or circumventing the voice of faculty in academic and educational activities — all of these things jeopardize the quality of students’ education,” he said.

Ahead of Monday’s vote, some Republican state lawmakers voiced their opposition to the move.

“This action by the governing members of UW-Madison shows an arrogance that doesn’t serve the university or its students well. It’s a clear example of the complete disconnect between UW-Madison faculty who seem to expect their job to come with a forever guarantee and the average Wisconsin family struggling just to make ends meet,” Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke wrote in a statement last week.

The next day, GOP state Sen. Steve Nass, vice chairman of the state Senate’s Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, joined Steineke in condemning the resolution.

He said the vote isn’t really about Cross or the Board of Regents.

“The radical faculty at UW-Madison are rejecting the values and expectations of the people of Wisconsin,” Nass wrote in a statement. “They are backhanding the middle class families who are pleading for controls on tuition and an end to wasteful spending in the UW System.”

Still, Goldberg said he expects to see similar resolutions taken up at campuses across the system if his passes Monday.

“If anything the sense of frustration among my colleagues on the other UW campuses isdeeper than it is here in Madison and that’s because they, in a way, have been feeling the brunt of these changes compounded by very large budget cuts even more so than we have here,” he said.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the Faculty Senate at UW-Milwaukee will discuss a similar resolution next week.