MADISON — University of
Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is responding to
criticism from faculty and students who say he failed to
consult them on the plan to merge two-year campuses with
Cross said system leaders had
to act quickly to avoid the closure of several campuses,
Wisconsin Public Radio reported .
Cross said he believes in
shared governance but it's not clearly understood what
responsibilities fall to the administration and what falls to
faculty, staff and students. There needs to be conversations
about what shared governance specifically entails, he said.
"I think that there's
confusion about who should be involved in what and how. That's
understandable," Cross said. "I would argue that
shared governance has, in some ways, equated decisions at all
levels on all issues, and that's not, in my mind,
UW-Stout's Student Senate
issued a vote of no confidence last week because of Cross'
"The bold actions
President Cross has taken without consultation and comments he
has made regarding shared governance partners has been
irrevocably ruinous and is completely unacceptable," said
Alex Vernon, Stout Student Association president.
The group is seeking Cross'
resignation or his recommitment to working with university
The executive committee of the
UW-Madison Chapter of the American Association of University
Professor wrote a letter to Cross expressing concerns over the
disregard of shared governance.
Better decisions are made when
those impacted are part of the process, said David Vanness, a
UW-Madison professor and committee member.
Officials are looking for
better ways to engage effectively with faculty, Cross said.