Jun 11, 2015

Author of Abolish-the-Audit Bureau Bill Refuses Comment on Academic Freedom Guarantee

Omnibus Motion 521 regarding the UW System
authored by Sen. Harsdorf and Rep. Schraa
Updated - Following the proposed abolishment of tenure as guaranteed by Wisconsin statute, Republican Party attacks on academic freedom at the University of Wisconsin System continue. (Vanness, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)

This morning State Rep. David Craig (R-Big Bend), the author of the bill to abolish the Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB), declined to comment through an aide when asked if Craig would offer his assurance his bill would retain the section of the LAB statute guarding academic freedom for the UW System in the operations of the LAB. (Mal Contends)

In a related development, Rep. Craig's office also told a Capital Times reporter that his "proposal to abolish the Legislative Audit Bureau ... didn’t have anything to do with scathing audits of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation," and is simply a good government move to prevent "spending abuses." (Elbow, The Capital Times)

The LAB proposal is directly related to the proposed restructuring of the UW System though the dissolving of the LAB guarantee of academic freedom at the University of Wisconsin System, a freedom codified in several statutes of Wisconsin.

Omnibus Motion 521

The budgetary Omnibus Motion (motion 521) regarding the UW System restructuring is authored by State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and State Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh) both of whom are members of the powerful Joint Committee on Finance.

The Joint Committee on Finance's "primary responsibility is to serve as the principal legislative committee charged with the review of all state appropriations and revenues," as described on its webpage.

Reads the Omnibus Motion introduced by Harsdorf and Schraa.: "Suspend current law…requiring the Legislative Audit Bureau to conduct an annual financial audit of the UW System. Instead, require the UW System to contract with an independent accounting firm." (Vinhout, Uppity Wisconsin)

Item 12 of the Hardorf-Schraa-Scott Walker initiative reads in part: "12. Tenure: Approve the Governor's recommendation to delete the definition of a 'tenure appointment' and language establishing the conditions under which the Board of Regents may grant a tenure appointment to a faculty member. Delete current law specifying that a person who has been granted tenure may be dismissed only for just cause and only after due notice and hearing."

University faculty tenure guarantees and limitation are codified in state statute.

Under the GOP-Walker scheme, these guarantees which attract world class researchers and faculty would transfer to the whim of the politicized UW System Board of Regents, most of whom have been vetted and appointed by Scot Walker.

Contract Employees or Tenured Faculty

This raises the question that without statutory protection, without Board of Regents support, how does the UW embed tenure in the appointments of 'tenured' faculty? An employment contract?

Does 'come to the UW System as a contract employee' really seem appealing to lure world-class researchers and faculty?

No, and that's Scott Walker and the GOP's point.

One can only hope public support for the University of Wisconsin System kills the project of Scott Walker and Republicans.

Items 26, 27 of GOP Omnibus Motion 521 regarding the UW System

No comments:

Post a Comment