Results of UW tenure survey released, but questioned

Karen Herzog:

A University of Chicago professor who fanned a firestorm over tenure with a recent survey of University of Wisconsin System faculty members came to Madison on Wednesday to reveal his results, including responses to his hot-button question about how much money it would take for faculty to give up their tenure protections.

The resounding message he received from faculty: Tenure is not for sale.

Faculty responded to the survey without knowing it was funded by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a think tank that is financially supported by the conservative Bradley Foundation.

After faculty became suspicious about the questions, and uncovered the funding source, 228 faculty members who had completed the survey asked the researcher if they could opt out, citing concerns about confidentiality of their responses and whether it was politically motivated as part of a Republican effort to kill tenure.

The researcher was forced to shut down the response window less than 48 hours after it opened in mid-September.