Response to Governor Walker’s Call for Faculty to Teach More

Governor Scott Walker suggested yesterday that University of Wisconsin System faculty could teach more in an effort to offset his proposed $300 million budget cut.

Walker’s comments, which also implied shared governance and faculty participation in decision-making have hindered cost-effectiveness, were made to Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes. Remarks about UW System begin at 12 minutes.

 

Response from UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW System President Ray Cross was swift. Cross told Wisconsin Public Radio host Joy Cardin that faculty work on average 50-60 hours per week (18 minutes):

 

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Chancellor Blank said that teaching is just part of the work faculty perform for the benefit of the state:

“Teaching is a core mission of the university and taxpayers should expect that faculty are spending time in the classroom. But we know that our faculty are working on behalf of the state in research, outreach and fundraising, among other capacities.”

PROFS President Grant Petty told the Wisconsin State Journal a professor’s job is much more than time spent in the classroom, likening it to the work of clergy:

“As Governor Walker knows from his own family background, a pastor’s job doesn’t start and stop with the Sunday sermon. The same is true of university professors and the classroom.”

Petty also noted that faculty are responsible for more than just undergraduate education, including graduate student teaching and advising, research and publication, continuing education, and outreach:

“I was not able to tell from the governor’s statement which of these things he thought we should do less of to make room for more of something else.”