University of Wisconsin–Madison

University Committee

UW-Madison University Committee Response to Administrative Hiring Workgroup
(October 2, 2017)

The UW-Madison University Committee (UC) fully supports the statement issued by the Madison Advisory Committee on Academic Hiring (MACAH). This committee was appointed by the UC to provide input from the Madison campus to the UW System Workgroup on Administrative Hiring.

The UC reiterates the concerns in the MACAH statement about the removal of the tenurability criterion for chancellor searches and adds that this reservation also applies with respect to those vice chancellor positions for whom an academic background is essential in order to carry out their responsibilities. For example, the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, as the chief academic officer of the university, needs to make decisions that require deep understanding of the context of the academic mission and processes of the university. Similarly, the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education is responsible for managing the academic research enterprise, and thus requires knowledge and experience of that aspect of tenure.
As indicated in the MACAH opinion with regard to chancellor positions, while these changes are designed to enhance the pool of candidates for consideration, removal of the tenurability requirement could send the wrong message about the System’s commitment to the campus’s multifaceted mission (research, teaching, and service). This in turn could result in good candidates not applying, and thus has the potential to slow down the hiring process and/or to jeopardize the academic standing of the university.

The UC also strongly supports the MACAH statement about the composition of the search and screen committee, and additionally notes that an expanded committee will be more able to conduct searches that identify tenurable candidates for positions where these credentials are essential.