Thanks Scott Walker for killing Wisconsin Prof Tenure!

I would like to thank Scott Walker, Wisconsin governor (and 2016 presidential candidate) for working to eliminate tenure for faculty in Wisconsin.

Thanks to you, the rest of the nation will have a great time cherry picking the top researchers (and their grant money!), bolstering our local universities. This is a fantastic boon to those schools who wish to continue to lead with research - leaving Wisconsin to continue with glorified trade schools instead.

Do you have a cite where he killed it? Your link doesn’t say so (obviously).

And could you explain how it is now easy to cherry pick researchers if the university can’t pay them anyway? TIA.

Regards,
Shodan

OK - he hasn’t killed it yet, but has set the stage for this. I heard about this because news of it crossed my email, and has many of the local faculty are already salivating to poach some faculty from Madison ASAP. There is a meeting on Monday with the Chancellor to see how much money can be found to recruit a few rock stars. That is how big of a deal this is.

Example: When the University of California hit their forced furlough period (cut in pay, but no change in teaching or research requirements), some top faculty were targeted for hiring by other schools. A few million in grants were lost, along with excellent faculty, just in my area of interaction.

So when a university changes the contract (like what Walker is pushing in Wisconsin), the best faculty will be more susceptible to offers from other universities. The impact of this can take awhile, as a few faculty leave and the best ones no longer take the offers. As they drop in quality, the quality of graduate students will decrease as well. Finally, the best faculty effectively pay for themselves thanks to grant money - but if they leave, that money often goes with them.

There’s a nation-wide war against tenure. In the 1960’s, almost 80% of faculty positions in U.S universities were tenure-track. Over the last 50 years tenure-track jobs have dropped to just above 30% of faculty.

This is horrible news for higher education in the long run for several reasons:

[ul]
[li]Academic pay has never been that great compared to industry, but tenure provided intellectual freedom and security that attracted excellence despite the lack of dollars.[/li]
[li]Contingent faculty do not provide institutional continuity.[/li]
[li]Contingent faculty generally don’t do research.[/li][/ul]
If this trend continues, we’re moving to a model where most universities in America will operate like trade schools. They’ll offer generic courses taught by interchangeable part-time instructors who aren’t given the time or money to conduct original work. It will suck for the professors, but it will suck for the students as well.

I think you will find quite a few faculty who did enough research to get tenure–and then after they got tenure they quit doing research.

I have found the opposite, personally. Assistant Professors (pre-tenure), are working hard to get tenure, but don’t often have the base of research yet. There is often a dip with Associate Professors as they breath after the tenure run, but then you see an increase in productivity as they hit full Professor status.

http://www.bates.edu/Prebuilt/chem-vitalfaculty.pdf

I wish my job had tenure.

I’m rather skeptical that any of what you say is true. Whenever Republicans propose any change in government spending, some Democrats work themselves into a lather insisting that it will cause a massive disaster. One may recall that four years ago, Walker and Wisconsin Republicans allowed Wisconsin teachers and other state employees the freedom to not join unions. Certain Democrats assured us that talented teachers would flee the state and public schools would be devastated. It didn’t happen.

Or take the “sequester” two years ago. Democrats said that it would cause teachers to be fired and education to suffer as a result. They were lying. Not a single teacher was fired as a result of the sequester.

Does anyone think the Democrats’ predictions for Walker’s higher education proposal will fare any better?

But suppose for a moment that it’s true, that “rock star” professors leave Wisconsin and the state’s universities become more like trade schools. Why would that be a bad thing? Isn’t much academic research just garbage? Why would an ordinary taxpayer want his or her money spent hiring “top researchers”? Don’t we read every day about students graduating with more and more debt and worse and worse employment prospects? Even when professors aren’t committing violent crimes or being morons, what are they doing to justify huge, taxpayer-funded salaries?

(bolding mine)

Are you sure you know what the word “lying” means? :dubious:

It’s hard to take you seriously when you write bullshit like this. Yeah, I said it: bullshit.


The sate of Wisconsin is not a dictatorship. While our Governor has more power than a lot of other states governors have, he can’t just declare laws, he can only sign bills into laws. So why is the OP only attacking Walker and not the Wisconsin legislature?

And if any Democrats vote for this, will the OP single them out and attack them in this thread?

Why didn’t you become a professor?

What do you think 4 Pinocchios means?

You jest, but it’s probably true that most WI taxpayers don’t have the capacity to understand the research being conducted at their state universities. They don’t care about the technology spin-offs that stay in state. They can’t arithmetic the millions in federal and private research funds that come in and are spent locally. They don’t think about the undergraduate research opportunities or if their sons and daughters might want the opportunity to stay in state for graduate school.

But that’s fine. I’ll expect Virginia to set out the welcome mat. It’s not like it will cost the taxpayers much, given how low faculty salaries are, and how little of that is even covered by state funds.

On the macro scale, China is ramping up its research capabilities, in part by hiring US professors. So it’s fine if the U.S. wants to step down from its leadership role and just coast into a quiet glide. Plenty of other countries are ready to show long term thinking and ambition.

Are Chinese universities guaranteeing to pay Wisconsin professors salaries even when the Chinese government can’t afford it? Is that how the Chinese are showing leadership?

Regards,
Shodan

Why wouldn’t they be able to afford it?

Ok, perhaps his use of ‘lying,’ was unwise.

So instead, let’s pretend he said:

I’m rather skeptical that any of what you say is true. Whenever Republicans propose any change in government spending, some Democrats work themselves into a lather insisting that it will cause a massive disaster. One may recall that four years ago, Walker and Wisconsin Republicans allowed Wisconsin teachers and other state employees the freedom to not join unions. Certain Democrats assured us that talented teachers would flee the state and public schools would be devastated. It didn’t happen.

Or take the “sequester” two years ago. Democrats said that it would cause teachers to be fired and education to suffer as a result. They were WRONG. Not a single teacher was fired as a result of the sequester.

Does anyone think the Democrats’ predictions for Walker’s higher education proposal will fare any better?

What reaction would you have to that?

And freedom is a good thing! In fact Walker and his buddies the Koch brothers – bless their freedom-loving little hearts – are well on their way to giving unions the freedom to not exist at all!

For sure. Scientific research is garbage and we need to stop wasting money on it. And I’m sure I don’t need to tell you the obvious benefit: in a brave new society that doesn’t need anybody who actually knows anything, we can stop wasting money on higher education, too. Win-win! University campuses would make nice country clubs for deserving billionaires.

Why do great professors need govt protection? if they aren’t that good, then why prop them up?

Why can’t we be content to let the free market (i.e. people) decide who wins and who loses? why does the govt get to pick whose project gets funded and whose doesn’t?
This country worked for a long time on that principle and became the leading nation of the world. It wasn’t govt funded research that did this.