MILWAUKEE – Faculty members at the University of Wisconsin’s Milwaukee campus officially registered their anger over state budget cuts and changes to tenure policy Tuesday by unanimously approving a resolution of “no confidence” in UW system President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents.
Among other things, Walker’s office noted that state funding at UW-Milwaukee has increased dramatically since 2002. The list also pointed out that UW-Milwaukee professors average more than $100,000 per year in salary, have fewer students that they did a few years ago, and spend less time in the classroom than they did in the past.
Faculty at four UW campuses – Madison, La Crosse, River Falls and now Milwaukee – have approved similar resolutions over the past few days condemning Cross and the Board of Regents for allegedly failing to fight $250 million in state budget cuts to the university system, as well as a state measure that weakened job-protecting tenure policies for professors.
The Faculty Senate at UW-Eau Claire declined to vote on a proposed “no confidence” resolution on Tuesday.
The UW-Milwaukee vote was described as historic, because it was the first time in recent memory that the full faculty met and voted to approve any sort of measure.
“This is a vote of no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents who have overseen a $250 million cut to the UW System, an attack on tenure and shared governance and misrepresentation of the work teachers do in the UW System,” UW-Milwaukee English Professor Mauricio Kilwein Guevara was quoted as saying by Fox6Now.com.
Even before the faculty vote, Gov. Scott Walker’s staff released a list of facts that were clearly intended to suck the air out of the faculty grievances.
According to the governor’s office, spending per student ON the Milwaukee campus increased more than 40 percent from 2002-03 to 2015-16.
Full professor salaries on the Milwaukee campus averaged $101,700 in the 2013-14 school year. Average annual pay for all workers in Milwaukee County was $49,539 in 2014.
Faculty hours spent on classroom instruction at UW-Milwaukee have dropped 20 percent from 2000 to 2013.
The ratio of students per instructor at UW-Milwaukee – 2.8 – is the second lowest since 1994.
The governor’s office also noted that Walker’s 2013 order to freeze UW tuition rates has saved students a great deal of money.
“Wisconsin students and their families saw tuition increase by 118 percent in the ten years before Governor Walker’s historic tuition freeze, and that freeze has saved them more than $6,000 on average over four years,” the statement said. “At UW-Milwaukee, those savings are even higher at more than $7,000 in savings.”
“The facts speak for themselves,” Walker was quoted as saying in the same press release. “The bottom line is UW System funding stands at an all-time high, spending per student at UW-M is up more than 40 percent since 2002-03, and faculty is spending less time in the classroom. We want to preserve the world-renowned quality of the UW System while protecting students and taxpayers.”