Close The University of Wisconsin!

With Governor Scott Walker’s announced intention to cut $300 million dollars from the biennial state budget in state support for the University of Wisconsin, clearly the university system will have to find places to trim it’s budget.

Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to cut the University of Wisconsin System by $300 million over two years would likely lead to layoffs, but closing campuses is not on the table at this time, top school officials said Tuesday.

Declaring the university system needs to get out from “under the thumb” of state government, Walker said he wants to give the Board of Regents more authority to contract for services and construct buildings without following state rules and processes that other state agencies must.

His plan, if approved by the Legislature, would be coupled with a reduction in state aid of nearly 13%. He likened the proposal to the budget cuts that were paired with Act 10, the 2011 law that all but eliminated collective bargaining for most public workers.

“I think (the UW System plan) will make them more effective, more efficient and ultimately more accountable to the taxpayers of this state,” Walker said

In discussing how the university will handle the expected shortfall, UW System President Ray Cross said that layoffs are in the offing but there is no talk of closing campuses:

UW System President Ray Cross said the effects of the cuts would vary by campus but added that officials are not discussing closing any campuses. He said he hoped to identify some efficiencies in March based on the recommendation of a consultant, giving schools time to prepare for cuts that would take effect when the new budget year begins July 1.

Beeeep! Wrong answer…stop being so damned nice and bring the fight back to Madison…close some of those marginal campuses…close UW-Superior which is already under stress…maybe a few two year campuses in small rural areas…UW-Fox Valley? UW-Fond du Lac? (they can commute to Green Bay or Oshkosh for cryin’ out loud – why the heck do you think we keep building those dang roads?)…UW-Platteville (we don’t need a mining school)? Shut ’em down. Shut down $300 million worth. Big scalpel – quick and dirty. Just shut ’em down!

Then let’s see who’s singin’ in the rotunda next fall.


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14 thoughts on “Close The University of Wisconsin!

  1. I fear that he would just sell the resources to a private entity and the public would soon forget the issue. I would much rather see the Capitol being taken over so that the state and nation has attention drawn to what an anti-education buffoon this presidential “wannabe” really is. We need to get some national media on his tail that will ask the tough questions and not let him off with talking points. The very fact that this will further erode the Wisconsin economy especially with the loss of research revenue and that nationally ranked faculty will be heading for the exits needs to be highlighted. ACT 10 took $1 billion out of the economy… how much will this action add to that number. The man is an idiot and we need to use this issue to show his foolishness. Outside of Capitol protests I can’t think of another way to make his negativity for the economy and people front and center! A protest demanding that he take the federal Medicaid money as the way to save the U.W. I feel would resonate with the citizens of this state!

  2. Yes, fill the Capitol with protesters again because that was SOOOOO successful against Act 10. His base loved it. You want to get people’s attention? The cuts should come out of Badger athletics. Fill the Capitol with pissed off alumni.

  3. They’ll cut and contract out and no matter what they say, tuition is headed up sharply. No question higher education must practice cost control so regular families can afford it but the key is to bring down costs without damaging teaching and research and raising tuition. Thus far Walker’s remarks are exactly the opposite of what’s needed and of course he did this to grab headlines instead of working jointly with the UW System as a partner. I won’t mind if this ends most of the highly-paid, redundant administrative posts and so-called Directors of Centers for this and that. Walker got it wrong – those are the inefficient roles. But people like that seem always to find a way to feather their own nests so doubtless hard-working do-ers will be forced into salary cuts, contract work and job elimination while the deputy whatever blithely plans his next must-attend conference in Vail.

    1. I agree that Walker could have pointed to some redundant administrative positions as a way to reduce higher ed costs. Instead, he’s playing “divide and conquer” again by portraying college professors as lazy folks who need to work harder for their gravy train pay and benefits (maybe in not so many words).

      I’d like someone to ask him if he’d ever be willing to cut anything beyond taxes for the wealthy and education. The press needs to put him on the defense for a change.

      re: Protests in the capital, I feel like the right wing media would once again portray it as a bunch of “lazy college kids” and “union thugs” whining. Further protests would probably do more harm than good.

      1. Walker wears the protests and re-call as a badge of honor. Particular tactics are not substitute for a strong game plan. Which reminds me. Any DPW chair candidates answering our questions?

      2. Totally disagree Mase- Walker wants to portray Wisconsinites as accepting of his “reforms” to the outside country. Re-filling the Capitol not only shows that we do NOT accept what has and will happen, it also focuses national media on these next steps of cutting public Ed.

        Silence = acceptance, and I don’t think we should accept this, do you ? Being timid didn’t work in 2014, and won’t work now. What’s there to lose, anyway?

        1. Being timid definitely won’t work; you’re right on that. However protests didn’t work in 2010 and ended up making Wisconsin Democrats look like whiny losers. How do we avoid that this time? I’m sorry, but filling the capital with college students and a bunch of sloganeering doesn’t cut it as a comprehensive political strategy.

  4. When I said fill the Capitol, I wasn’t talking about professors or students…the governor doesn’t care a fig about those two constituencies…but if you close the smaller regional campuses you might get squawks from the parents in redder neighborhoods who now have to spend more money to send their children to bigger more expensive urban centers plus find more money for room and board.

    They may not object to sticking it to the lazy professors in Madison or Milwaukee or even Green Bay…but it won’t play as well in Marshfield or Fox Valley or Fond du Lac.

    1. To expound on Ed’s point- only 3 of the 13 4-year campuses in the UW System have GOP reps- Platteville (Tranel), Stout (Jarchow), and River Falls (Knudson), and those 3 campuses are the only 2 that have GOP State Senators (Marklein and Harsdorf).

      But then look at the 2-year Colleges, and you’re talking areas like Fond du Lac, Marinette, Wausau, Marshfield, Rice Lake, Manitowoc, Sheboygan, and Richland Center. All areas with GOP reps and Senators that can be flipped in the right circumstance (especially in a Prez election year). Hmm….

      PS-Here’s a really good article from Andy at Wisconsin Soapbox on the importance of the 2-year Colleges- who have as much combined attendance as the largest non-Madison/Milwaukee campuses.

    1. Good post. I will say though that they were always going to have to change their mind-set in the UW System. Back-room departments were always going to have to be merged and shared. Administrators and offices in charge of flavor of the day initiatives should never have been allowed to set up shop without real scrutiny about the value to the core teaching and research missions. More specialization and less duplication across the UW’s is necessary. Walker is such a failed leader though he can’t fathom working with the UW System on cost control and he’s frantically trying to cover for his mismanagement of state finances so he cuts too much, too fast.

  5. UW students and families, employees, alumni and all their spin-off businesses and communities they support are not productive payers? Well, well. Man up and get out their and tell them fact to face, in editorials, social media, at church. Go ahead, tell them they’re parasites.

    $300 million now in cuts, $46.1 million the prior year, $250 the last budget cycle. And why? Well, because Wisconsin’s finances are a mess. Yet in Minnesota the Democratic gov is sitting on a $1 billion dollar surplus. Their Governor is sending $30 million of that surplus to the University of Minnesota Medical School. I hope Wisconsin voters decide to raise the bar a bit after Walker so we get someone who possesses at least the minimum requirements for leadership like an education and ability to manage finances.

    1. Unfortunately I don’t see a majority of Wisconsinites getting tired of Walker in the near future. They are eating up these sorts of “divide and conquer” tactics with a spoon.

  6. What almost everyone ignores about Walker’s UW power move:

    1. He’ll still control the board of regents. He pretends he’ll spin off UW yet he’ll continue to call the shots.

    2. UW now, before Walker/GOP legislature meddling? It’s the kind of economic development engine for the state that “CEO” Walker can only dream his FUBAR Wis “Economic Development” Corp. could ever become. Can’t have that kind of disconnect now, can we? Wouldn’t look prudent in a presidential campaign. So he’ll drop-kick UW, instead, and take credit for the resulting omelet.

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