Wisconsin

Professors Critical of Gov. Walker Spend Little Time in Classroom

Organizations

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed $300 billion biennial budget cut to the University of Wisconsin system has not been taken well by university faculty, with many public university professors taking to the media to express their concerns. Walker got even more push back last week when he told WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes that “Maybe it’s time for faculty and staff to start thinking about teaching more classes and doing more work.” But as Media Trackers has uncovered, the critics of Walker are the very professors that make Walker’s point best.

In response to the outrage over Walker’s proposal and comments, Media Trackers looked into just how many classes the professors that have been critical of Walker actually teach.

Of the seven professors that Media Trackers looked at, we found that:

    • Combined the seven are teaching just 11 hours and 55 minutes a week this semester.
    • Combined the seven make $812,222 a year and teach just five classes this semester.
    • Only three teach any classes at all in the spring semester of 2015.
    • The three professors that actually teach this spring averaged just 1.66 classes per week with an average of 3.97 hours per week in the classroom.

The Professors

David Canon (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 0 hours a week (spring 2015). The political science professor defended light class loads claiming it keeps UW-Madison competitive with other top tier colleges. Canon would know all about light workloads because this spring he has no classroom instruction scheduled. The tenured professor makes $140,199 a year.

Canon teachers NO classes this spring.

Grant Petty (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 5 hours a week (spring 2015). The professor of atmospheric science has time to maintain his own website but only has time to teach two classes. In his criticism of Walker, Petty admits he only teaches two classes but claims faculty already spend 50 hours a week or more doing “essential duties.” The tenured professor makes $122,746 a year.

Petty teaches two classes this spring. Meteorological Measurements on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 12:05-1:20 p.m and Radiation in the Atmosphere and Ocean on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:30-10:45 a.m.

Andrew Kydd (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 0 hours a week (spring 2015). The political science professor told The College Fix, “If you increase the teaching requirements, faculty who can get jobs at schools with lower teaching requirements will move.” Kydd apparently knows what he is talking about because in the spring of 2015 he doesn’t teach a single class. The tenured professor makes $124,947 a year.

Kydd teaches NO classes this spring.

Jo Ellen Fair (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 0 hours a week (spring 2015). As was reported by Right Wisconsin earlier this week, the journalism and mass communication professor does not teach a single class despite claiming “most faculty members I know are working 60, 70 a week.” While her friends may work long weeks, she apparently got off light this semester. The tenured professor makes $126,111 a year.

Fair teaches NO classes this spring.

John Sharpless (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 4 hours and 25 minutes a week (spring 2015). The history professor, who Wisconsin Public Radio used as an example of a conservative professor speaking out against Walker, claimed he arrives to work no later than 9 a.m. and leaves no earlier than 5 p.m. He also claims he often spends his evenings reading and grading papers. Oddly, to prove his conservative credentials he attacks Walker referencing his belief that “big corporate guys” pay Walker’s jet fare. The tenured professor makes $79,875 a year.

Sharpless teaches just two classes this spring. Topics in Wisconsin History on Wednesdays between 11am-12:55 p.m. and Native Americans & White Expansion on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1-2:15 p.m.

Margo Anderson (UW-Milwaukee) – In classroom: 2 hours and 30 minutes a week (spring 2015). The history professor pointed to all the out-of-classroom work as the reason why Walker is wrong about underworked professors. Anderson would know about out-of-classroom work because she is barely in a classroom according to her spring schedule. The “distinguished” tenured professor makes $100,568 a year.

Anderson teaches one class this spring. The Quantitative Analysis of Historical Data on Mondays and Wednesdays between 2:00-3:15 p.m.

Mark Etzel (UW-Madison) – In classroom: 0 hours a week (spring 2015). The food science professor said Walker’s comments that professors should spend more time in the classroom “shows a total lack of understanding of how a university functions.” Etzel is right, few understand why he isn’t actually teaching any classes this spring. The tenured professor makes $117,776 a year.

Etzel teacher NO classes this spring.


Jeremy Carpenter contributed to this story.

*All salaries are budgeted salaries for the 2014-15 fiscal year. The Madison.com database was used to obtain salary data.

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