UW Struggle: Tenured Kingpins on Yachts Edition

Daredevil3
The Tenured Kingpins are Back!

When debating higher education reform, a clear indicator that genuine economic concerns are a smokescreen for misinformed ideological ones is how fast the word “tenure” emerges in the discussion. For anyone with even basic knowledge of the higher ed landscape, tenure is about the 10,000th item on the list of “problems,” and even then the problem is not its existence, but its contraction for the purposes of labor exploitation.

As this Scylla is again trying to steer us toward Charybdis, here is a fact-sheet that I am now posting for the 4th time. I hope this comes in handy if you once again find yourself besieged by Captain Taxpayer, Mr. Business, or FaceTwitter SuperTroll.

Tenure Fact Sheet:

Percentage of tenured faculty who currently govern the state in which they work: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who serve as the system President: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who work as faculty while also serving as the chancellor of their institution: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who serve on the Board of Regents: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who are asked to contribute their wisdom to the process of what tuition will be: 0%.

Percentage of tenured faculty who give themselves raises: 0%.

Percentage of tenured faculty who, in their abundant free time, currently serve in state legislative bodies: 0%.

Percentage of tenured faculty who, as legislators, voted to cut the budget of the institutions where they work: 0%.

Percentage of tenured faculty who can single-handedly reform state medicaid costs to free up money for higher education: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who refused to accept federal dollars for healthcare reform: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who manage and write the state budget: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who assign tax breaks to businesses and individuals: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who turned a projected surplus into a significant budget shortfall: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who are responsible, in any way, for Wisconsin’s current budget crisis: 0%

Percentage of tenured faculty who opt to hire expensive consultants instead of using in-house expertise: 0%

More Fun Facts

As this chart shows, as do a number of other sources, institutions of higher ed are opting for labor exploitation over job security, thus aligning its practice with, well, the globe:

Damn that tenured class for... shrinking.
Damn that tenured class for… shrinking!

The primary culprit for rising costs is state divestment. Given that, it’s not hard to see why someone in the legislature might want to distract from that fact:

Surely the tenured Kingpin is to blame!
Surely the tenured Kingpin is to blame!

And finally, the folks in charge of such things occasionally collaborate in this misconception, and the declining ratio of faculty members per administrator might have something to do with it:

05-Delta-Cost-daily

I hope this helps! It is now the beginning of the spring break I clearly don’t deserve, as I should be teaching more one-week flexible credit for prior breathing seminars.

Thanks for listening! And remember, be the tenured Kingpin that you are!

I will see you on my yacht! I make the budgets now!
I will see you on my yacht! I make the budgets now!

7 thoughts on “UW Struggle: Tenured Kingpins on Yachts Edition

  1. Chuck – please keep writing! As others have said, it is good to laugh when one really wants to cry. Although I am in computer science, I appreciate good writing more than anything (except perhaps good beer). And yours is among the best I’ve seen.

    Dave Gibbs, UW Stevens Point

  2. Really, none of the UW-System’s Chancellors have tenured-faculty status? My campus’s Chancellor came “up through the ranks” as a faculty member here over the decades. When he took the Chancellor position, was his previously-earned tenure revoked? Is that what UW-System governance documents proscribe?

    1. This is a good point. As you know, many upper admin are hired with tenure, sort of like receiving a gift bag for the party, but I would never consider them “tenured faculty.” In some instances, tenured faculty who move through the ranks do indeed resign their positions when moving into admin (I can cite a few cases of this, though I doubt it’s required by statute). That said, I doubt any UW Chancellors are currently tenured faculty in that they fulfill the responsibilities of such: teaching, research, service, community work, department meetings, department searches, advising, etc, etc. Still, yes, there are exceptions. My current Dean was, and still is, a tenured faculty member in a department on campus (though I wouldn’t consider him ‘upper admin’).

Comments are closed.