AAUP Statement on Developments in the University of Wisconsin System

The National AAUP issued a statement on November 5, 2015 on the development of tenure and post-tenure review¬†policies by the UW System Board of Regents. The full statement is available here. Of note is the concern expressed by the AAUP that new post-tenure review policies could “take this process from being developmental and faculty-driven to one by which institutions can too easily dismiss what they claim are ‘underperforming’ tenured faculty.”

As further noted in the statement, “The AAUP does not object to periodic evaluation of tenured faculty. Nor do we claim that tenure must be regarded as an indefinite entitlement. Tenured faculty are already subject to dismissal for incompetence, malfeasance, or failure to perform their duties, as well as on grounds of bona fide financial exigency or program termination. Rather, as we wrote in 1999,

the most objectionable feature of many systems of post-tenure review is that they ease the prevailing standards for dismissal and diminish the efficacy of those procedures that ensure that sanctions are not imposed for reasons violative of academic freedom.

“This is one of our principal concerns about recommendations we have seen from Wisconsin.”