This article has been cross-posted from the The Education Optimists at the request of the author. – Ed.
Last year, I wrote extensively about efforts led by former Chancellor Biddy Martin and her administration, donors, and alumni to privatize (or at least semi-privatize) the University of Wisconsin-Madison. That effort was partially successful, for while Martin and colleagues failed to separate Madison from the rest of the UW System, or gain authority over tuition setting, they did succeed in getting Madison the authority to redesign its human resources system. This new “flexibility” was praised by many on campus, including staff, faculty, and students, who recognize that the current bureaucracy is not working, especially for those outside of administration.
So, this year the Human Resource Design Project has been advertised as a tremendous opportunity, hard won, and far better than the alternative — the status quo. Perhaps. But few reforms are without consequence, and the recommendations recently offered by the working teams in HR Design suggest this case is no exception. (more…)