AAUP Assails Wisconsin Governor’s Autonomy Plan

The American Association of University Professors has come out against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to cut ties between the State of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin system.

The proposal “could profoundly undermine tenure, due process, and shared governance in the university system, principles that AAUP has long seen as essential to ensuring higher education’s contribution to the common good,” the association said in a statement.

Raymond W. Cross, the system’s president, has supported the proposal, saying the enhanced autonomy would justify the $300-million budget cut over two years that would accompany it.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that Mr. Walker’s proposal recommends that tenure, due process, and shared governance be maintained in system policy. But they would not be guaranteed by law.

“Gov. Walker clearly has presidential aspirations and sees this attack on public higher education along with attacks on other public services as a way of solidifying support from wealthy donors and extreme right-wing elements in the Republican Party,” the AAUP’s president, Rudy Fichtenbaum, told the newspaper.

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