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2 More UW Campuses Pass Resolutions Showing Dissatisfaction With System Leaders

Faculty In La Crosse, River Falls Join Madison Voting 'No Confidence'

La Crosse WI (CC-BY-NC-SA)

Faculty at two more University of Wisconsin campuses have passed resolutions saying the have no confidence in the public university system’s leaders. UW-Madison faculty passed a resolution earlier this week saying they don’t have faith in the actions of UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents. Following suit, UW-River Falls and UW-La Crosse passed similar resolutions.

The votes come on the heels of some $250 million in state budget cuts to the UW System and controversial changes to tenure policy. Rellen Hardtke, physics professor at UW-River Falls, said some people don’t realize how tenure affects academic freedom.

“Some people think of tenure as job protection for people who are no working hard. Tenure is about the right to pursue studies that might be politically unpopular,” she said.

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UW schools in Eau Claire, Green Bay and Milwaukee will be voting on no confidence proposals next week.

The faculty vote at UW-Milwaukee is an unprecedented meeting of the full faculty. Professor Rachel Buff helped write the proposal the staff will vote on.

“I want Ray Cross to have a mandate, a very clear mandate from across the system to stand up against austerity in the interest of all of the people of Wisconsin,” she said.

Buff said the systems budget cuts and changes to tenure policy hinder academic freedom and go against the Wisconsin Idea. In a statement this week, Cross said that he disagrees with the resolutions. Some leading Republican state lawmakers have also been critical of the faculty votes.

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