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AFT-Wisconsin release: UW-Eau Claire faculty declare no confidence with historic vote


Eau Claire, WI: Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire voted overwhelmingly in support of a resolution of no confidence in UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents.  Members of AFT local 6481, United Faculty and Academic Staff of UW-Eau Claire, collected signatures from one-third of campus faculty to call for a special meeting of all faculty on the resolution, the first such meeting at the university in nearly fifty years.  The resolution, which passed by a landslide margin of 227-98, is the latest in a wave of no confidence resolutions across the UW System, a nationally unprecedented event.

Bob Nowlan, an English professor at UW-Eau Claire and the vice president of AFT local 6481, said the vote reflected faculty disappointment in the failure of UW System leaders to protect the quality of education in the UW System.  “We are making clear the damage done to the UW System has been substantial and must be reversed for the good of the people and the communities of this state and for the preservation of the Wisconsin Idea and the very UW System itself—as a quality institution of world renown,” said Nowlan.  “Our university system is in serious crisis and we refuse to pretend it is not, and we refuse to pretend those in charge are not responsible.”

AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas noted the significance of the vote as part of a statewide effort by members of AFT, the American Association of University Professors, and allies to defend the UW System from political attacks.  “With this historic vote organized by AFT-Wisconsin members at UW-Eau Claire, faculty and academic staff at a majority of UW System institutions have gone on record.  They are tired of politicians like Scott Walker taking funds out of education to pay for tax cuts for their wealthy donors.  They are tired of attacks on academic freedom and workers’ rights.  And they are tired of so-called ‘leaders’ in the UW System who refuse to stand up for higher education.  These votes show that if Ray Cross and the Board of Regents won’t, or can’t, defend the Wisconsin Idea, AFT-Wisconsin members and our allies will.”

Contact: Aaron Bibb, Communications Director      For immediate release: May 26, 2016


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