Advocates for Whom?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Badger Advocates formed this week to make sure the New Badger Partnership (NBP)--complete with split from the University of Wisconsin System--is passed in the Guv's budget this summer. Thank goodness someone is really digging into who these guys are -- this is a must read.

My question is this: I have heard plenty of folks argue this is great for the research enterprise at UW-Madison. I have no doubt that's true. I've also heard some who think it's good for faculty. And plenty who think it's good for alumni. I also hear from current students who *think* it's good for them. But how, exactly?

How does hiring 72 new faculty benefit students if teaching experience is not a requirement for hiring? If we continue to make tenure decisions based primarily on activities that don't involve students? Where is the evidence that any of the things we are dumping money into are causing improvements either in graduation rates, time-to-degree, gaps in degree completion and/or measured learning gains? Inquiring minds want to know. I've been pointed to the MIU website and told we're working on "quality." That's not enough when the case is being made that doing the one thing we ARE known for--serving as the flagship of a great public university system--is being taken away from the other 140,000 undergraduates and prospective undergraduates across Wisconsin.