The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a policy change that will require top administrators to review tenured faculty Thursday.
The amendment was made to the original faculty tenure policy implemented in March. Regent Gerald Whitburn said provosts and deans will review tenured faculty on their respective campuses to see if they are meeting policy expectations. This review will be conducted independently for each faculty member across all UW System campuses.
“We feel that it is prudent and important to have this requirement in place,” Whitburn said.
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But not all regents approved of the amendment. Regent Tony Evers called the changes to the tenure policy “a solution seeking a problem.” He said there is no evidence supporting that such an independent review is appropriate and was the only one to vote against it.
Regent Tracey Klein expressed her support for the amendment and said it is consistent with shared governance policies. Regent President Regina Millner said faculty will still play a major role in the tenure process and this amendment will not undermine their value.
“Their professional rating is highly valued, appreciated and respected,” Millner said.
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The Board of Regents also unanimously approved UW System Task Force on Sexual Violence and Harassment’s recommendations to establish a system-wide sexual violence and harassment training program for all employees and students.
The program, which consists of online modules on topics like bystander intervention, healthy relationships and domestic violence, will be mandatory for all employees, students and faculty. People in positions of greater responsibility like law enforcement officials, will undergo a more in-depth training on a regular basis.
The task force also recommended a system-wide website be created to provide comprehensive resources to victims and campus members. This website is expected to go live by the year’s end.
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UW System President Ray Cross said the issues of sexual assault and harassment and domestic violence concern him “deeply.” He expressed support for the training and said it is a key step in educating the campus community.
“We need to be able to empower those who have been victimized and ensure they feel safe and comfortable when reporting incidents [of sexual assault],” Cross said.