A new Wisconsin Technology Council report warns further state budget cuts to higher education “will prove costly over time.”
The report makes several recommendations for the state, including the establishment of a blue-ribbon commission that would look at university funding, tuition levels, boosting research and commercializing technology and how to best use tech colleges and the two-year UW Colleges.
It highlights several case studies of research driving the state’s economy, but notes such activity “could run dry in future years if state support for higher education declines.” And it says the only way the state could keep top faculty is ensuring they “have the freedom to teach, research and grow.”
“Faculty members won’t have time to conduct research if teaching loads become heavier, and the value of what they teach will be diminished if there’s not a balance of research and ‘service,’ which is broadly defined but includes starting young companies,” the group wrote.
The report also notes the tenure changes at UW that have gotten pushback from faculty “reflect best tenure policy practices nationally.” Tech Council President Tom Still said the group’s board, largely made up of business leaders, felt the new policy protects academic freedom while ensuring tenure isn’t designed to “keep somebody’s job at all costs.”
Read the full WisBusiness story here.