One of the many things I like about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is that he’s supremely annoyed the professoriate. First, Walker . . . didn’t finish college!! The horror! My goodness, that places him with such political dinosaurs as . . . Harry Truman. Actually, if you know the story, it’s even better that you think. Walker found his political science courses to be boring and irrelevant to the real world, which most of them are today, and decided he’d be better off without instruction in the trivial and stupid content of most university political science classes today. So he dropped out. Good for him.
But that’s only the beginning of his awesomeness. Lately he signed a bill that reduces lifetime tenure protection at the University of Wisconsin. Not for any old McCarthy-era political reasons; rather, the bill would allow university management to shed tenured professors if they decide to cut programs or departments, as universities ought to do these days in the age of tuition inflation and the higher ed bubble. I’d start with gender studies, and work up the recycling pile from there.
Needless to say, the lefty faculty at the University of Wisconsin have caught a case of the vapors, and have defaulted to Godwin’s Law territory right out of the box. Take Wisconsin professor Sara Goldrick-Rab, who tweeted these:
I’m sure you’ll be surprised to learn that Goldrick-Rab is a professor of . . . wait for it . . . education policy studies and sociology. (In other words, a twofer loser.) She went on to write a newspaper op-ed saying the tenure changes signal that it’s time to leave the University of Wisconsin/Madison. Oh please, please—I’ll help you pack prof. Goldbrick-Rab! I hear Rachel Dolezal’s old position in eastern Washington is open.
The corollary complaint is that Wisconsin won’t be able to attract top faculty if faculty tenure is insecure. This is one bluff the Wisconsin regents should call for sure. With the immense surplus of good Ph.Ds floating around as underpaid adjuncts, it would be easy to fill the classrooms with well qualified professors before lunchtime tomorrow. Go ahead, make my day.