Just think, the Republican legislature gets to go out on the road and
present defend their proposed 2015 – 2017 budget. One of the sticking points in this budget is the $300 million cuts to the renowned University of Wisconsin System. And of course one of the places where they are holding public hearings on the budget is the City of Milwaukee, home of the states second largest campus, the one that educates more Wisconsin residents than any other in the system.
But those very same legislators, who talk a good game while they are in Madison, don’t talk so tough when they have to visit the big city. In fact they are doing absolutely everything in their power to avoid confrontation and actually meeting with those people most affected: the faculty, staff and students from UW-Milwaukee:
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee often takes second place to its big sister campus in Madison in research and academic status, despite having many excellent programs of its own.
But one place UWM doesn’t need to concede is resident enrollment. UWM enrolls more Wisconsin born-and-raised undergrads than even Madison, and many more than any other university in the state. UWM is the school that teaches more Wisconsin young adults than any other, and more of those graduates stay in Wisconsin, and live and work and pay taxes here.
So, as Gov. Scott Walker proposes $300 million in funding cuts across the University of Wisconsin System over the next two years, and the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is obliged to hold daylong regional hearings on his budget proposal, you might suppose that the faculty, staff and students of the largest undergraduate school in the state would have something to say.
I’m sure they do. But will they be able to?
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is holding four regional hearings across Wisconsin. For the Southeast Region, dominated by Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city and its educational and economic engine of manufacturing and growth, that hearing will be held Friday, during work hours, at Alverno College, a Catholic women’s school, on the far south side, while UWM is on spring break.
Many faculty and staff and most students of UWM will not even be in town when this hearing is held. They will be vacationing or spending time with family or friends. If they don’t go on vacation, they will go home, which is what you do on spring break. Most don’t hang around a deserted campus for political purposes.
Way to go Joint Finance Committee…way to actually give the public voice a fair hearing. What a bunch of chicken shit nonsense.