The following resolution is scheduled to be voted on by the Faculty Senate on Monday, November 2, 2009:
Chapter 36 of the Wisconsin statutes defines and anchors what we are as an institution and as a faculty. The faculty’s responsibility for the immediate governance of the institution, our participation in institutional policy development, and our responsibility for academic and educational activities and faculty personnel matters, including our own faculty organizational structure, have all helped to create the environment within which we succeed. This includes the structure of the Graduate School, which facilitates synergies of graduate education and research across the campus. In July 2009 the administration presented a plan to the University Committee that would have removed most of the research functions from the Graduate School and placed these functions under the control of a new vice chancellor for research. The administration’s plan, presented by the provost, was developed without any input from shared governance bodies, clearly contravening Chapter 36 and Faculty Policies and Procedures. The provost has provided no data or analysis in support of the Graduate School reorganization plan even though the faculty has consistently requested that information and justification at town hall meetings and in other discussions.
UW-Madison has experienced profound success in its research enterprise, and it is in the best interest of the faculty to examine the status quo to make certain that we are appropriately positioned to continue this remarkable achievement. The fact that we consistently rank as one of the country’s elite research institutions is testament that UW-Madison has something special that merits careful stewardship. Within this context, the University Committee appointed an ad hoc committee to do a careful, deliberate, and timely assessment of the needs of the institution’s research enterprise including the Graduate School, the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, compliance structures, research centers and institutes, and management of the annual WARF gift. The University Committee has asked this committee to formulate recommendations on the best way to address any deficiencies, while ensuring that the faculty’s, and therefore the institution’s, continued success is preserved and supported, and that the faculty’s rights and responsibilities are preserved through faculty governance structures and oversight.
WHEREAS the administration’s proposal to reorganize the Graduate School has been presented without a detailed written plan and without time for due consideration of the implications of such a plan for research and graduate education;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Faculty Senate opposes any action to implement such a plan, e.g., through the creation of a new vice chancellor for research or changes in the functions of the Graduate School, until the administration provides a fully developed written plan in response to the University Committee’s ad hoc committee report and recommendations, which has been reviewed and approved by the University Committee and the Faculty Senate with appropriate opportunity for comment by all members of the faculty.