The first shoe has dropped. The Academic Staff Ad Hoc Committee on the Research Enterprise has returned its white paper. Their charge was “[t]o assess whether the present UW-Madison Research Enterprise structure is capable of addressing current and future issues, or whether an alternative organizational structure such as that proposed by the Chancellor and the Provost is needed.”
Their unambiguous conclusions: “yes” to the first question, and “no” to the second.
Extensive documentation supporting their findings was provided as an appendix to the report.
Todd Finkelmeyer of the Capital Times has done a good job of summarizing the key conclusions of the committee, so we won’t attempt to duplicate his effort.
We still await the report of the University Committee’s own Ad Hoc Committee, due later this month. But we will be surprised if it reaches a substantially different conclusion about the merits of the Graduate School restructuring proposal aggressively promoted by Provost Paul DeLuca last Fall with clear backing from Chancellor “Biddy” Martin.
The main remaining suspense concerns the administration’s response to both reports. But Provost DeLuca has recently been quoted by the Badger Herald as disavowing unilateral action by the administration, so we are considerably more optimistic now about the process moving forward from here than we were at the time of the Faculty Senate resolution vote last November