Governor Scott Walker, a Wisconsin Republican, wants faculty members at University of Wisconsin campuses to teach more. Walker spoke to reporters Wednesday, the day after formally proposing $300 million in cuts to the university system, in exchange for autonomy that university leaders won't lead to saving anywhere near large enough to make up for the cuts. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that the governor told reporters Wednesday that his plan for the universities would “make them do things that they have not traditionally done.” The governor explained: “They might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class per semester.... Things like that could have a tremendous impact on making sure that we preserve an affordable education for all of our UW campuses, and at the same time we maintain a high-quality education.”
University officials questioned whether this is feasible. Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at the UW flagship at Madison, said that survey data show most faculty members work 50 to 70 hours a week on teaching, research and other activities. He noted that the research efforts of professors "bring in millions of dollars in grant funding that is a direct boost to the Wisconsin economy."