- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 3, 2015

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Faculty representatives at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have approved a new policy that lays out a narrow range of circumstances that would allow firing of tenured professors.

The school’s Faculty Senate gave unanimous approval Monday to the policy, which would restore many layoff protections erased by state lawmakers in passing a budget this year, the Wisconsin State Journal (https://bit.ly/1MEZanA ) reports. The policy says tenured professors can only be fired for just cause or if their department is eliminated because of dire financial needs or “educational considerations” as voted on by faculty.

The policy goes to the UW System Board of Regents for final approval.

UW System President Ray Cross said in an October memo that regents wouldn’t consider campus-specific policies until they approve new tenure protections systemwide. A task force working on the systemwide protections isn’t expected to put new rules before regents until the spring.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the campus will go by the policy approved Monday while it waits for regents.

“We will follow these unless the regents tell us otherwise,” Blank said in an interview.

Blank had planned to put the policy before regents in December. She opposed the delay, saying in an email to system officials that it could make it harder to retain faculty. She has since said UW-Madison will wait to seek final approval until the systemwide policy has been passed.

Despite the wait, Blank told faculty the result should remain the same.

“I still very much expect that we are going to end up - at the system and certainly here at the UW-Madison - with a set of policies that give us strong protections,” Blank said.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, https://www.madison.com/wsj

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