Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Engineering and Public Policy
In recent years, several states have proposed modifications to university policies, including tenure policies, that would potentially impact the foundations upon which higher education rests in the United States. One such state is Wisconsin, in which the state legislature mandated many fundamental changes to the state statutes involving the University of Wisconsin in 2015. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin responded by significantly changing tenure policies for the faculty. These changes are seen by many as weakening the protections which faculty have grown accustomed to having. The author of this paper is an engineering professor whose role in faculty governance at his institution provided him with the opportunity to both closely monitor how the changes were being made and influence the campus policies that were created in response to the legislative and regent actions.
This paper will consist of three main sections. First, a history of the changes to the tenure policies in Wisconsin will be provided. Second, the author will review his role in the process as an example of how a regular faculty member can influence the making of policies at an institutional level. This review will include the challenges that faculty can face while working to bridge gaps between the visions of different parties while crafting policy. Third, a series of recommendations will be presented for other engineering faculty who either intentionally or unintentionally find themselves in a position to defend or create policies at their own institutions. While these recommendations will be made with an emphasis on tenure policies, they are adaptable to other higher-education related issues as well.
Reisel, J. R. (2018, June), Attacks on Tenure: An Engineering Professor’s Experiences with Public Policy Actions Impacting Higher Education Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29839
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