Sara Goldrick-Rab, the University of Wisconsin scholar-activist and sharp critic of Gov. Scott Walker’s repeal of state laws protecting tenure and shared governance, announced on her blog Monday night that she would move to Temple University as a professor of higher-education policy and sociology.
In her statement, Ms. Goldrick-Rab spoke of her “commitment to working in public higher education, where the vast majority of people pursuing economic stability and upward mobility via college are enrolled.” But she said that a looming threat to tenure protections at Wisconsin’s public colleges had forced her hand.
“It is no longer possible for critical scholars working in public higher education to flourish without tenure protections,” her statement said. “McCarthyism is alive and well — especially here in Wisconsin.”
She wrote that Wisconsin faculty members like herself could easily be fired if the university’s Board of Regents do as expected and approve a policy reining in tenure this week. “Terrified sheep make lousy teachers, lousy scholars, and lousy colleagues,” she wrote. “And today at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, thanks to #FakeTenure, I’m surrounded by terrified sheep.”
Ms. Goldrick-Rab, who is known for her outspokenness on Twitter, was criticized last summer for tweeting at incoming Wisconsin students about the assault on tenure and for another tweet that mentioned similarities between Governor Walker and Hitler.
She is also well known as a vocal champion of college access for low-income students. One of her papers on college affordability influenced last year’s White House proposal to make community college free.
Ms. Goldrick-Rab said her appointment at Temple would be effective on July 1.