Wisconsin professors speak out against Jim Johnsen UW candidacy

    Milwaukee, Wisc. (KINY) - The spokesperson for a group of University of Wisconsin professors is speaking out about the candidacy of University of Alaska President Jim Johnsen.

    The University of Wisconsin professor's conference is objecting to Jim Johnsen as their next president.

    Dr. Nicolas Fleisher is a professor at UW-Milwaukee and a member of the conference, known as the American Association of University Professors-Wisconsin. He spoke to News of the North about the reasoning behind a statement the group put out early this week.

    "We've been critical of the search process from the beginning," Fleisher said. "This search process is the first time in history that the faculty, staff, and students have been excluded from the process. However, it's consistent with the sidelining of faculty and staff and students in shared governance over the past several years."

    Fleisher says Johnsen's history of no-confidence votes and requests that he step down from his presidency at UA were alarming. After he was named as the sole candidate for UW's presidency, AAUP's research into his background became pronounced.

    "We started to learn a bit more about Jim Johnsen and his record in Alaska," Fleisher said. "In particular, the history of no-confidence votes ... that's a major red flag."

    The group called on the Wisconsin Board of Regents to withdraw Johnsen’s candidacy immediately and declare a failed search.

    "It's just not a normal thing to have a single finalist for a major leadership position like this," Fleisher said. "If there was only one person who made it to this stage in the search, the proper thing to do would be to 'fail' the search and do it again. That's what we think should happen."

    The initial statement was released on June 2 by AAUP. You can read it here.

     

     

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