November 10, 2015

The committee met with the chancellor and continued discussions of budget and system initiatives, the evolving debates about faculty tenure, post tenure review, and financial emergency. The landscape is still quite confused on much of this, as the Regents tenure task force, campus senates and governance groups, and administrators wrestle with the implementation of Act 55. “Accountability” seems to be an emerging watchword, resonating with discussions of both post tenure review and potential “outcomes based” metrics for evaluating campus performance in such areas as student retention, graduation, and employment, or “economic development.” The chancellor articulated some of the concepts used at UWM on these matters, e.g., “student success,” “community engagement,” and “research outcomes,” which may or may not match with what System is talking about. It appears to us that there is still lingering dissatisfaction in the legislature and perhaps among the Regents about whether the university system or individual campuses are hoarding “surplus” revenue, which given the dire budget situation at UWM, was met by all with dismay.

The tenure policy position paper will be before the Senate next week for a committee of the whole discussion. The UC committee hopes to parse the issues involved into a discussion of tenure language; financial emergency language; and post tenure review policy.