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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Faculty Senate to vote on no-confidence resolution toward Ray Cross, Board of Regents

Author of resolution said it’s important for faculty to oppose erosion of academic due process, shared governance in UW System
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University of Wisconsin’s Faculty Senate released its plan Monday to vote on a resolution expressing no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents at its next meeting.

Chad Goldberg, UW sociology professor and Faculty Senate member who authored the resolution, said the resolution mainly deals with several concerns regarding the UW System.

The resolution points out Cross’ and the Board of Regents’ failure to protect academic due process and shared governance, Goldberg said. More specifically, the Faculty Senate considers changes made to the tenure policy, which allow academic programs to be modified or discontinued based on non-educational concerns such as comparative cost effectiveness and budgetary prioritization, a major problem, he said.


The policy will not only affect Faculty Senate and shared governance, but also harm the education quality UW students deserve, Goldberg said.

We think the students are better served when decisions about academic program changes are made on the basis of educational considerations, as determined primarily by the faculty,” he said.

Goldberg said the policy will make it harder to attract and retain the best faculty, jeopardizing the quality of education on campus.

The resolution expresses frustration regarding the process the Board of Regents used to make policy changes. At the last Board of Regents meeting on April 8, the UW System Legal Council made modifications to the policy and the Board of Regents adopted them without consulting the Faculty Senate.

The due process of a policy modification requires the Board of Regents to send the policy back to the Faculty Senate to make necessary changes, Goldberg said. This was a violation of local faculty governance, which prompted him to start writing the resolution, he said. 

“Both of these concerns are at the heart of this resolution and motivate our feeling that the UW policies concerning academic due process and shared governance have been eroded, damaged far more than necessary and our convention around shared governance has been undermined,” Goldberg said.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank opposed the resolution during Monday’s Faculty Senate executive committee meeting, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. She said opposing the system will bring backlash to UW, especially at a time when people are looking for reasons to cut the school budget.

“Passing a resolution that attacks your governing board is likely to get you just a lot more problems, rather than benefits,” Blank said.

UW System leadership, including Cross and Board of Regents, are focused on listening to student experiences and helping ensure quality education across system schools, UW System spokesperson Alex Hummel said.

Hummel said UW System leaders consider the resolution a faculty matter and will not focus on it.

“The regents, the president, particularly through the tenure task force, consulted with a lot of UW System faculty through the process of developing the Board’s core policy, also in my understanding, the UW-Madison policy,” Hummel said.

During the process of writing the resolution, Goldberg said he consulted a wide range of colleagues on campus, as well as the University Committee, which is the executive body of the Faculty Senate.

He finalized the language in consultation with other faculty senators after the University Committee meeting Monday.

“If it passes, I think it will send a very important message that we the faculty do not take violations of rules of the faculty governance lightly,” Goldberg said. “I think it’s important for the faculty to be on record as opposing the erosion of academic due process, the erosion of shared governance in the UW System.”

Although it is a symbolic resolution and likely won’t have direct impacts on whether the UW System changes its policy, Goldberg said he expects other UW schools to begin to deliberate, consider and likely pass similar resolutions.

The resolution will be on the agenda at the next Faculty Senate meeting May 2.

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