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Wisconsin Higher Ed Changes Are Now Law

July 13, 2015

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, has signed into law a budget bill that removes provisions on tenure and shared governance from state law -- moves opposed by faculty leaders and administrators. Governor Walker and Republican allies have said that governing boards can replicate important features as system policy that need not be in state law. But this has not reassured many in higher education. Rebecca M. Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is among those who wrote to Governor Walker to try to get him to veto such provisions. The law has made Governor Walker, who is about to officially kick off his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, unpopular with academic leaders nationwide, and many groups have come out against the changes. But there have been no signs that the push has hurt the governor with his political base, or that Walker backers are hearing the pledges to move tenure protections to a system policy. Grover Norquist, the anti-tax advocate who is influential in conservative circles nationally, on Sunday wrote on Twitter: "Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, passed new budget that ends tenure for public universities. Saves $250 million."

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Scott Jaschik

Scott Jaschik, Editor, is one of the three founders of Inside Higher Ed. With Doug Lederman, he leads the editorial operations of Inside Higher Ed, overseeing news content, opinion pieces, career advice, blogs and other features. Scott is a leading voice on higher education issues, quoted regularly in publications nationwide, and publishing articles on colleges in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, Salon, and elsewhere. He has been a judge or screener for the National Magazine Awards, the Online Journalism Awards, the Folio Editorial Excellence Awards, and the Education Writers Association Awards. Scott served as a mentor in the community college fellowship program of the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media, of Teachers College, Columbia University. He is a member of the board of the Education Writers Association. From 1999-2003, Scott was editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Scott grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and graduated from Cornell University in 1985. He lives in Washington.

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