Faculty, staff, graduate employees, and students from across the University of Wisconsin System gathered on Friday, February 5, to rally in defense of tenure, quality education, and academic freedom before the Board of Regents gathered to review draft policies on faculty tenure. These policies, which have drawn concern from AFT-Wisconsin and AAUP higher education leaders, have the potential to undermine basic principles of academic freedom that allow faculty to teach and perform research in pursuit of truth, free from political interference.
Despite the freezing temperatures, energy at the rally was high. Speakers from UW System campuses at Milwaukee, Stevens Point, Whitewater, Madison, and Green Bay, joined by AFT-Wisconsin President Kim Kohlhaas, called on those in attendance to continue efforts on their campuses to advocate for quality education and academic freedom.
After the rally concluded, members marched inside Union South to where the Board of Regents was preparing to meet, singing "Solidarity Forever" while UW-Madison United Faculty and Academic Staff (AFT local 223) President Chad Alan Goldberg delivered over 750 petition signatures in support of the AFT-Wisconsin Higher Education Council Statement on Tenure and Indefinite Status to Jane Radue, Executive Director of the Board of Regents.
For many more photos from the rally, be sure to like AFT-Wisconsin on Facebook.