While University of Wisconsin has spent nearly $9 million from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2015, in raises and research funds to retain top faculty, a UW professor announced Monday she is leaving the university to take a position at Temple University.
This year, the university invested more money in retention cases after interest in retention increased. The most recently completed retention cases were settled for as much as $56,421 to as little as $0, according to UW retention case spreadsheet.
Though there are still several retention cases to be settled throughout the spring and maybe even summer, 48 retention cases were finalized as of December 2015, including six cases in which faculty turned down offers to go elsewhere, Meredith McGlone, UW spokesperson, said.
Despite receiving attractive, and for the most part lucrative offers from other universities, McGlone said most faculty members have opted to stay at UW.
“We [were] pleasantly surprised that roughly 85 percent of the offers that we’ve made to retain people have been accepted — that’s a nice batting average,” McGlone said.
But the decision to leave UW is not all about the money. UW educational policy studies and sociology professor Sara Goldrick-Rab announced in a Medium post Monday she is leaving UW because UW is no longer “led by a fierce commitment to the public.”
Goldrick-Rab said she will become a higher education policy and sociology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia starting July 1. Her decision to leave UW is due to the recent changes to Wisconsin’s tenure policy, which have “vanquished” tenure throughout the UW System, she said.
Without the protection of tenure, Goldrick-Rab said teachers lose the ability to help their students understand the “why” and “why not.” She said tenure allows professors to not be afraid to ask questions because it protects them from threats from the “Boss.”
Goldrick-Rab said tenure has been replaced with “savvy new #FakeTenure.” She said this new tenure would easily allow for the “Boss” to get rid of positions they may find to be unnecessary like hers.
“Terrified sheep make lousy teachers, lousy scholars and lousy colleagues,” Goldrick-Rab said. “And today at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, thanks to #FakeTenure, I’m surrounded by terrified sheep.”
Goldrick-Rab said UW is not the institution she started at, but she is still grateful for the inspiration of the Wisconsin Idea and the lessons that she has been taught by fellow UW staff and faculty as well as students.
While she is leaving UW, Goldrick-Rab said she will remain an independent consultant to the Wisconsin Harvesting Opportunities for Postsecondary Education Lab she founded in 2013 for the next two years.
“I look forward to joining a university and a state that embraces its responsibility for providing the earned tenure protections required to rebuild public higher education,” Goldrick-Rab said.
School of Education Dean Diana Hess thanked Goldrick-Rab for her contributions to the School of Education, specifically as the founding director for the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, in an email to The Badger Herald. The lab will close once the work is completed in summer 2018.
“Under Sara’s leadership … the HOPE Lab has produced high impact work that has contributed significantly to debates about how to ensure access and equitable outcomes in post-secondary education,” Hess said.