U. of Wisconsin Leader Defends Faculty from Governor

January 30, 2015

The head of the University of Wisconsin System defended faculty from state Governor Scott Walker's suggestion that professors should teach more classes to save money as part of a Walker-backed $300 million budget cut.

Faculty are like state lawmakers, system President Ray Cross said in a radio interview, "if all we think they do is what we see them do when both chambers are in session. They only work a few months at best a year. That's not any different than faculty. Faculty on average are working 50 to 60 hours a week."

Cross said he's "frustrated over" Walker's comments. "We need to appreciate [faculty] more because it's on the backs of the best and the brightest that we're going to solve some of the problems we have in this country and in this state," Cross said.

Cross released a statement this week supporting the newfound independence Walker is offering the system to go along with the cuts, which are likely to result in faculty and staff layoffs. Cross also suggested this week that universities can cope with the proposed cuts by raising tuition on students.

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