Autonomy Comes At Too High A Cost

I originally posted this in a comment, but then I remembered that it’s Wednesday and I’m (nominally) the Wednesday guest poster here, sooooo:

I got an email from the chancellor of UW-Madison yesterday, as I’m an employee of the university. You may remember that former chancellor Biddy Martin was the one advocating for greater autonomy from the state for the UW system, and UW-Madison in particular in the first place, and she actually left in no small part because it hadn’t gone through fast enough for her. Current chancellor Rebecca Blank, however, is less excited about all of this:

The $300 million cut is believed to be the largest in the history of the university. In the past, large cuts have always been mitigated by additional tuition revenue from both resident and nonresident students.

This proposed cut, on top of the reduction in the last state budget, would result in a more than 15 percent decrease in state funds to the university over a four-year period. Fully absorbing these cuts would harm our students and their educational experience.

I appreciate the opportunity for additional flexibility and management efficiencies that a public authority might bring, and would work hard to implement these effectively on our campus. It would be challenging, however, to engage in a major reorganization while also coping with a large budget cut.

And Scotty just imposed a two-year tuition freeze, too, because apparently we have a “sizeable surplus”…

4 thoughts on “Autonomy Comes At Too High A Cost

  1. Not to mention that the “autonomy” would not include such things as being able to research “facts” or other well-known tools of liberalism, without the interference of GOP legislators, who know best, really, for the university. The whole stem cell debacle turned out so well.

  2. Let’s see, tuition freeze, funding cut, no concomitant freeze or reduction in the university system’s operating expenses, and it looks like Gov. Scotty will come out at the beginning of 2016 with his frowniest face and solemnly intone that as much as he hates to do it, it appears that Wisconsin can no longer afford such an extensive and luxurious university system, and as heavy as it weighs on his heart, campuses will have to close, students will have to go elsewhere, and faculty and staff will get their walking papers.

    The business interests will cheer, Walker will get the hagiographic treatment from the conservative media, and Tea Baggers across the country will call him their boy. In about 2019, we will hear from those same business interests that the labor pool in Wisconsin seems to be just too dumb to be hired for some strange reason, and the blame will be apportioned to those goddam socialist teachers unions that are strangling the state.

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