During the gubernatorial campaign last fall, Martin pitched all three major candidates on the idea of giving UW-Madison more freedom from a maze of state regulations, an idea she called the New Badger Partnership.Sigh. How can academics be so petty and short-sighted? Oh... did my question answer itself?
When Walker was elected, it was his idea to turn UW-Madison into a public authority, Martin said. Under the plan included in Walker's budget proposal, UW-Madison would split off from the UW System, get its own 21-member board and more autonomy. It would allow UW-Madison to set tuition, avoid a 4 percent state fee on construction projects, design its own personnel system and keep university revenue from being swept into state coffers. UW-Madison is facing a $125 million cut in state aid over the next two-year budget, half of the cuts to the UW System....
But with anger still raw over his move to stunt collective bargaining, critics question the motives behind the plan and the chancellor's wisdom of teaming up with Walker.
That has hurt Martin's argument, said Jeremi Suri, a UW-Madison history professor who supports the public authority model.
"This is a nightmare scenario," Suri said. "She is poisoned in the eyes of those who hate Walker. She appears to be on his side on this issue. She couldn't have anticipated quite that level of vitriol."
April 19, 2011
Accused of "being in bed" with Gov. Scott Walker, UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin said "It's an affront to my sexual orientation."
But, don't laugh. This "public authority" model for the UW is really important: