KENOSHA, Wis. — The faculty at Carthage College in Kenosha voted overwhelmingly to censure the school’s president and provost.

The staff protested the school’s decision to add extra courses over time to their workload without any input from them.

What You Need To Know

  • Carthage College faculty voted 94-14 to censure the school's president and provost

  • The staff protested the school’s decision to add extra courses over time to their workload without any input from them and additional compensation

  • The faculty believes the policy doesn't address an expected revenue short and limits their ability to connect with students

  • The administration issued a statement saying while they may disagree on how to attain financial stability, they are committed to student success

Most of the staff felt that adding an extra course to their workload would limit their ability to connect with their students.

One of the teachers that voted to censure was Anthony Barnhart. He is an associate professor of psychological science and has been teaching at the school for nine years.

Barnhart believes the new policy would limit the impact they could have on students.

“Supervising research, overseeing service learning or field placements,” said Barnhart. “These are the sorts of things that set students up for success on the job or when they are applying for graduate school and these are the things that would be chopped out of our work if we need to do more with less.”

Barnhart explained the administration framed the policy in a way to make up for an expected loss of revenue due to decreased enrollment. He also said they tried to get the administration to seek their input on the policy.

When they refused, the faculty chose to censure President John Swallow and Provost/COO David Timmerman.

“It’s a symbolic gesture that shows we are a unified front on disagreeing with this policy,” said Barnhart. “We were not presented with adequate evidence that this would help financial shortfalls.”

In response to the censure, Carthage College issued the following statement:

“Carthage College is working to address challenges facing higher education from a position of strength. Thanks to proactive steps to expand student access, address costs, and launch new programs that meet student demand, Carthage has recently welcomed our largest-ever first-year class, achieved new milestones in student retention, and made significant strides toward closing equity gaps.

Still, Carthage must continue to prepare for the future. The College recently announced that it will increase faculty teaching load by one course every three years for tenured/tenure-track faculty. Contract faculty will teach one additional course every year and two additional courses every third year. This is a measured, incremental step needed to ensure Carthage can continue to provide an exceptional education to our students at an affordable cost and offset the anticipated decline in the number of college-aged students.

Our faculty at Carthage consistently put their students’ education above everything else, and the passion they have for this issue stems from that dedication to the student experience. The administration and faculty may disagree on how to achieve long-term financial sustainability, but we all clearly have the same goal: our students’ success.”

Student Government Association President Phillip Hunter believes the faculty was within their right to censure. From his perspective, the most important thing to do was to make sure students understood what was going on.

“We have actually had the president come into one of our meetings,” said Hunter. “We have also had a panel of faculty, contract and tenure, to be able to come in and really explain their perspectives. I’m a really firm believer that we need to have a whole rounded perspective to make sure that student government is not being led into the abyss.”

Barnhart believes if the administration collaborates with staff it will go a long way toward addressing an expected revenue short in the future.

“We have a variety of working groups that we have formed organically that are chipping away at different aspects of this issue and we are hoping the administration will accept the help from our legitimate experts on these topics amongst the faculty so we can move forward in a more productive way,” said Barnhart.