February 28, 2011

"U. of Wisconsin-Madison's Chancellor Defends Proposed Separation From System."

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
In what many had predicted would be a contentious meeting of the system's Board of Regents, Carolyn A. (Biddy) Martin defended her support for a plan that would break the Madison campus away from the rest of the Wisconsin system, creating a new governing board and granting the flagship unique flexibility. The plan is expected to be part of a budget proposal Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, is set to unveil next week.

As currently understood, the proposal "would mean an extraordinary opportunity to combine self-reliance and oversight in a way that permits us to survive, even in the face of deep cuts," Ms. Martin told the regents, who called a special four-hour meeting to discuss the implications of Madison's potential separation.
Gov. Scott Walker... a Republican!


bagoh20 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Bob_R said...

Having worked both in a system with dispersed administration (Virginia) and having some experience with central systems (Wisconsin and Maryland) I don't see any advantages of a centrally administered system (unless you are a central administrator).

lemondog said...

Separation anxiety?

Peano said...

"Gov. Scott Walker... a Republican!"

I suspect you'll see a lot more come-to-Jesus moments before the state budget crises are resolved. Lots of pipe dreams yet to go up in smoke. But up they will go.

MaggotAtBroad&Wall said...

It's consistent with his view of pushing decision making and responsibilty down the chain. IT's decentralization. Which is exactly what he's trying to do with the budget proposal - push the decision-making down to the local/municipal levels.

It's probably the only way to get out of the mess we're all in. And it's the exact opposite of Obama's top-down, Washington knows what's best for the the other 300 million+ of us who don't live in Washington.

Carol_Herman said...

New York City once had all its public hospitals as part of the overall purchasing system. Run by the city. Run very poorly. So, by law, they changed this to "Quasi Public." A stand alone purchasing arm for all the hospitals. Just as Roe V. Wade passed into law.

I also remember how prescient Senator Moynihan was.

So if New York City could fix a mess, where simple hospital items were never stocked properly; I think Wisconsin, and the University System at Madison, is onto something.

chuckR said...

I'd be interested in how adding the overhead of a parallel administration would cut costs. Not saying it couldn't, but you'd need to make a pretty good case for me to believe it.
In RI, our state U gets less than 10% funding from the state. A professor friend suggests that taking it private and throwing out the bums in various sinecures devised for the politically connected would result in, at worst, no change in the school's financial circumstances.
PS - there is no state law school here.

David said...

Speaking of UVA Law School (as I did in another post today), the law school made itself financially independent of taxpayer support about 30 years ago. Best move it ever made, as the school now controls its own finances, which means both more predictability and more money.

The law school even built its own building with private funds.

Not sure how UW will do this financially, as I doubt they are proposing to buy the physical plant in Madison.

Madisonians have trouble realizing that their fortunate city and consistent prosperity are products of money flowing to Madison from the rest of the state for many decades. Madison really is an island of privilege, who ironically think that the "privileged" are the enemy.

Tregonsee said...

Back in the late 70s, it was fun to tweak those from "lesser" UW institutions by saying you were from the University of Wisconsin. When you were asked which one, you replied THE University of Wisconsin. Probably not acceptable in these PC times.

traditionalguy said...

I expect that the Board of Regents will lose its power the Flagship university which can then set its own admissions policies. By admitting primarily out of state students at Madison and leaving in-state applicants for the smaller Wisconsin Colleges, there can be an effective major tuition increase.

rhhardin said...

You want flexible flags, not flexible flagships.

Unless the bus company Flxible has gotten into ships.

Calypso Facto said...

I can appreciate UW Madison's desire to have some independence, and really have no opinion yet on whether I think this is a good idea.

But of course the only thing apparently everyone in the system agrees is that tuition is going up.

I hear from UW Madison people that this divorce from the state system will certainly entail a need to raise tuitions, while at the other campuses around the state I hear that the loss of Madison "revenue sharing" in the system entails, yep, a need to raise tuition.

I don't know how both sides can claim the new structure will cost them more, but there you have it. No crisis wasted, I suppose.

Greg Hlatky said...

[T]he bums in various sinecures devised for the politically connected

"Diversity drones"

Triangle Man said...

I don't know how both sides can claim the new structure will cost them more, but there you have it. No crisis wasted, I suppose.

The State will be cutting funding to the schools. Tuition is going to need to go up to cover the nut.

MadisonMan said...

don't know how both sides can claim the new structure will cost them more

Me neither. I think the smaller schools have been riding UW-Madison's coat-tails for a long time. So how does Madison getting rid of hangers-on, so to speak, increase costs? And you lose a layer of bureacracy as well. The loss in State Aid must be why the tuition will increase. I guess.

So Madison extricates itself from the System, and then Milwaukee does, and then all the other schools are on the outside looking in. I picture them in the snow, pressing their noses up against the glass, looking into the room where Madison and Milwaukee are sitting.

roesch-voltaire said...

This was in the making before there was a Republican Governor and even if a democrat had been elected the problem would remain the same: State budget cuts, and formidable competition of better funded institutions which will continue to weaken the ability of UW to maintain its ability to attract the best scholars and researchers, who in turn attract students not only from in-state, but from all over the world.

chickelit said...

Isn't this in part a return to the past? Once upon a time there was just the University of Wisconsin (located in Madison). Only later (1960's 1970's?) came all the hyphenation, along with the hyphen-Nation.

MadisonMan said...

Yes, it is Back to the Future-ish. I guess this means Soglin will be re-elected too.

Econophile said...

The brand/logo graphic guidelines changed slightly recently. "WISCONSIN" is more prominent than before.

It was something like:

The University of

and now it's

The University of Wisconsin - Madison <--tiny.

chickelit said...

MadisonMan said...
Yes, it is Back to the Future-ish. I guess this means Soglin will be re-elected too.

That would be a very re-elect Jerry Brown move on Madison's part.
What is Soglin offering to do differently this time?

Triangle Man said...


That is interesting.

New logos here.

Old logos here [pdf] for now.

Alex said...

Wisconsin Dem legislator says to female GOP 'you're fucking dead'

Death threats issued out by Democrats should not be covered, instead let's obsess about the Walker/Koch connection.

AJ Lynch said...

So who gets the kids in this trial separation?

PaulV said...

should work for bunper stickers

Lincolntf said...

Now Alex, we all know that an elected Democrat would never, ever say something like that. Must be some sort of misunderstanding. Or maybe we're all too dumb to catch the subtle nuance in "You are fucking dead".

PatCA said...

Reading between the lines, it seems that Madison is carrying all the smaller UWs, and can no longer afford to do that.

Part of the "education bubble" is the fact that you cannot duplicate programs at several different campuses statewide and have a couple of majors in each one supported by an entire department in each location. The other part, declining high school graduation rates, means that higher ed is going to shrink, gracefully or painfully.

traditionalguy said...

This proposal says that it is for the entire University of Wisconsin in Madison, right? Look at the number of out of state applicants that are being turned down by the University to allow room for a certain ratio of instate applicants. Then figure every one of those pays double tuition when admitted compared to a Wisconsin resident.

chickelit said...

The other part, declining high school graduation rates, means that higher ed is going to shrink, gracefully or painfully.

Perhaps Madison needs to focus more on the John Bardeens of the world.

Sigivald said...

It's amazing - people on the left have finally started to figure out that if they're not sucking on the State's teat, then the State can't cut them off when a non-Leftist is in power.

Pay the piper, call the tune. That never changes.

(I've been pointing out the same thing to my left-leaning friends over the Planned Parenthood flap, but they seem often unable to even grasp the idea of the State not handing out the money for such things...)

AJ Lynch said...


At lunch this weekend, a retired teacher was outraged at the idea that public unions are taking a beating from the public. She could not understand the taxpayer concern that someone like her is now retired on pension at age 52 after 22 years of work and still gets paid for substitution teaching by her old school district.

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