Cutting tenure protections is appealing to some college and university chiefs because it gives them more control over cutting programs when academic demands shift. Supporters of such protections say tenure is about protecting academic freedom and attracting high-quality faculty.
Walker has said the changes to tenure are needed to give the state university system more flexibility and financial leverage.
Specifically, the changes allow the University of Wisconsin system Board of Regents — 16 of whose 18 members are appointed by the governor — to set tenure policies instead of having tenure protections spelled out in state law.
He said the change in Wisconsin “modernizes the concept of tenure by authorizing the Board of Regents to enact such policies.”