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Faculty Council of Senators of UW Colleges Endorse Resolution of No Confidence

The resolution calls upon System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents “to make a positive case for improved access, affordability, and educational resources for our students.”

By - May 23rd, 2016 10:03 am

The Faculty Council of Senators of the University of Wisconsin Colleges endorsed a resolution of no confidence on Friday, May 20. The resolution passed by a vote of 11 yes, 5 no, and 1 abstention. Senators had consulted with their campuses before voting.

The resolution says, in part, “the UW Colleges Faculty Council expresses NO CONFIDENCE in President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents’ commitment to defend the Wisconsin Idea and extend the benefits of the University to every citizen in the state.”

The resolution calls upon System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents “to make a positive case for improved access, affordability, and educational resources for our students.”

The resolution affirms many things the UW Colleges faculty senators do have confidence in, such as “our students, and their right to access high-quality postsecondary education,” as well as “the continual and expansive ability of the UW Colleges to embody the principles of the Wisconsin Idea.” The resolution states that “it is because of this confidence in our mission, and our responsibility to it, that we must also stand with our students and stand up for higher education in Wisconsin.”

Senate Steering Chair Holly Hassel (Professor of English, UW-Marathon) said, “Like our colleagues throughout the system, the University of Wisconsin Colleges faculty are deeply committed to the mission of our campuses and the vital role they play in providing access to a UW quality education to all corners of the state. However, our capacity to fulfill that mission has been fundamentally compromised by the continued disinvestment of the state in public education, and by the assault on the traditions of shared governance that have allowed UW to attain its status as a world-class institution. We call on the system and state leaders to recommit to the important role played by all the UW campuses in serving Wisconsin communities from Sheboygan to Richland Center to Wausau to West Bend.”

In her letter of transmittal to President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents, Hassel reminded them that in the UW Colleges “The full-time faculty teaching load is four sections per semester–12 credits–with course caps from 24 to 38 students, meaning most full-time faculty teach at least 100 first and second year students each semester,” and that the starting salary of UW Colleges faculty is $43,000.

The University of Wisconsin Colleges recently formed a chapter of the American Association of University Professionals (AAUP). Chapter president Marc Seals (Associate Professor of English, UW-Baraboo) said, “We need vocal advocates for the Wisconsin Idea at the highest levels, but we don’t seem to have those anymore. Some have warned that we should keep quiet about our frustrations, or we’ll be punished. If we fail to speak because we fear a political backlash, then we’ve already lost our academic freedom.”

The UW Colleges is the University of Wisconsin System’s network of 13 freshman/sophomore campuses and UW Colleges Online. It is the third largest institution in the University of Wisconsin System.

By The Faculty Council of Senators of the University of Wisconsin Colleges

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