Scott Walker’s budget seeks to eliminate the Wisconsin Idea from UW System mission statement

As has been noted elsewhere by multiple sources, among the most shocking provisions of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-17 Executive Budget is a provision that would strike “the search for truth” and the Wisconsin Idea from the university’s mission.

In addition to unprecedented budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker struck “the search for truth” and the Wisconsin Idea from the university’s mission in his executive budget bill unveiled last night.

First summed up by UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904, the Wisconsin Idea means that “the borders of the University are the borders of the state.” Van Hise declared that he would “never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every family in the state” and this has long been the core philosophy of the UW System, which has worked hard over the decades to generate programs that serve people and communities all over the state.

Walker’s executive budget (see below) amends Sec. 1111 of the statutes to remove language specifying that the UW system has a public service mission to “extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campus” and to “serve and stimulate society.” He strikes language ensuring that the mission of the UW is to extend “training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition,” as well as the language specifying that “the search for truth” is “basic to every purpose of the system.”

Predictably once these provisions of Gov. Walker’s Executive Budget sparked outrage across the state, Gov. Walker’s staff chalked up the language to a “drafting error” and while Gov. Walker again avoided taking any responsibility for language contained within the budget he proposed.

Friend of the blog Graeme Zielinski summed up best how I feel about Gov. Walker’s attempt to sneak drastic changes to the Wisconsin Idea into his Executive Budget.


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7 thoughts on “Scott Walker’s budget seeks to eliminate the Wisconsin Idea from UW System mission statement

  1. Yet earlier in the day, he was at an event in De Pere, and said it would “hone” UW’s mission.

    This from

    “Further, at a stop in De Pere earlier in the day, Walker made no mention of any drafting error.

    “The focus would be honed in, in particular to look at making sure that we prepare individuals in this state, be they fresh out of high school or coming back later in life, for the jobs and opportunities available in the state,” Walker said.”

    1. Lisa- You think your lame deflection changes the fact that Walker is a clueless doofus when it comes to his policies on the UW System? And his lame “drafting error” excuse (and the later proof that it’s anything but an error) show him as the petty and deceptive lightweight the non-bubble world knows him to be.

    2. Lisa, care to address the meat of the issue? As I noted in my original piece, Graeme’s tweet just summed up how I felt about what Gov. Walker was attempting to do.

      So tell me what you think of Gov. Walker’s attempt to amend the Wisconsin Idea out of existence.

  2. Are you simply pissed at GZ for some reason or are you attempting to defend the Gov and the atrocious budget he has had to propose to attempt to cover his and the Republican’s asses for the mishandling of the state finances for the last four years?

    Not quite clear on that. GZ has a sense of humor and is a font of knowledge, always, whatever you might think of him. Walker, to be really generous, not so much in his messianic and delusional pursuit of political grandeur, money and prideful notoriety. The guy should be preemptively committed for intention to perpetrate further crimes against humanity.

    Mr Unintimidated should have been defending his budget, not running away and lying about an unpopular paragraph.

    1. Sorry, thought I had pressed the reply to Lisa L with this. But on edit, Mr Unintimidated runs from an unpopular paragraph and blames it on subordinates after claiming that “red line,” crap and boots on the ground in Syria and you know, big and bold moves to show the world we’re the boss of everything. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  3. The Wisconsin Idea stands for nearly everything Walker despises – truth, public service and sharing knowledge universally. Has there ever been a political leader before Walker full of so much hatred for his people and his own failures? Actually yes, but name the guy and you can never be the DPW Communications Director.

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