UW-Madison Faculty Overwhelmingly Say They Have ‘No Confidence’ In System Leaders

Faculty Senate Approves Official Resolution By Wide Margin

University of Wisconsin-Madison flag
okandasan (CC-BY)

University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty leaders approved a measure on Monday afternoon saying they have no confidence in the actions of the UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents.

The proposal, which passed by a wide margin, calls for the system’s leaders to recommit themselves to the Wisconsin Idea, a core tenet of the UW’s mission that says the the university is meant to serve the people.

While ultimately a symbolic gesture, the “no confidence” vote offers a strong rebuke from faculty at the system’s flagship institution in response to sizable state budget cuts to the UW System and recent changes to tenure policy.

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“It’s more than just us whining about tenure, it’s not that at all,” said Dan Vimont, a meteorological science professor, on Monday. “It’s about what makes Wisconsin special. And that is being broken we have to stand up against it.”

But some, like English Professor Anja Wanner, said the language of the proposal would hurt collaboration with the university’s governing body.

“The one thing I don’t understand rhetorically is how you can say, ‘I have no confidence in you but please continue to work with us,’” Wanner said.

Shortly after the vote, Cross and Board of Regents President Regina Miller put out statements disagreeing with the resolution.