Saturday, January 12, 2013

Questions for the UW-Madison Chancellor Search

The search for another chancellor of UW-Madison is well underway. According to news reports, the search committee is vetting 60 candidates, sifting and winnowing these to a shorter list of people who will be interviewed off-campus, before a small group of about four comes to campus for interviews.

This is a critical point in Madison's history, as we face key decisions about how we are funded, who we enroll, and how we teach.  Formulating the questions we want to ask the candidates as they go through the process is one way to think through these hard issues.  With this post, I'm hoping to spur thinking on this -- providing a few ideas to get started, and encouraging you to write in with more questions.  With any luck, the people who get to actually ask the questions will find some good ideas here.

A starting point:

1. There has recently been much discussion about the polarization of the academy and concerns expressed about the impacts that a lack of political diversity might have on the welfare of public universities in particular.  How do you conceive of the term "political diversity" and how would you address the need to build it on the UW-Madison campus?

2. What do the terms "innovation" and "disruption" mean to you, and how are they best produced on a campus like Madison's where shared governance is a central value?

3. Many universities, including Madison, are feeling pressure to increase "productivity."  How do you define productivity when it comes to teaching? Research?  What are ways in which you think the productivity of administrators should be measured? What about productivity among faculty?

Help us find the right person-- what questions should be added to this list?