Wisconsin Republicans Rethinking Shared Governance in University of Wisconsin System

September 5, 2013 | Blog

At a meeting of the Regents today, Representative Robin Vos suggested that the Wisconsin Legislature Republican caucus is rethinking the faculty’s role in governance on UW System campuses, out of a sense that they are keeping the System from being “nimble.”  I am concerned that Representative Vos may be unaware of economic research that indicates that faculty involvement in decision-making through shared governance appears to contribute to the containment of college costs.  Reducing faculty power in favor of increasing the administration’s relative power could make college less affordable for Wisconsin students.  These unintended consequences of Vos’s short-sighted idea deserve close examination, and I urge him to attend to these before pursuing it further.

Here is the document from the Republican working group.

Here is the video from the conference.  Vos begins speaking at the 1:17 minute mark on the first video, and these comments come just after the 1:18 minute mark. 


  1. Reply


    September 6, 2013

    It is difficult for me to think of a "reform" more likely to undermine the commitment, even devotion, of UW-Madison faculty to the common good of the University than diminishing the role of faculty in University governance even further. The implication of making Chancellors more like corporation Chief Executive Officers is that faculty will be treated more like employees, subject to directives, and, eventually, layoffs. How this will help sustain the academic quality of UW-Madison escapes me.

    Michael Olneck, Professor Emeritus of Educational Policy Studies and Sociology

  2. Reply


    September 6, 2013


    Let's see...where have I heard that word before?

  3. Reply


    September 25, 2013

    If Robin Vos truly thinks the CEO model leads to better outcomes than broad-based shared governance, consistency requires that he also favor reducing the power of the Wisconsin Assembly relative to that of the Governor.

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