June 4, 2015

"My mistake was, in my eagerness to get busy fixing the problems of our state, I didn’t spend enough time laying out what they were to the people of the state."

"We did not do enough to help people understand why we had chosen this path, how collective bargaining was hurting schools and local governments, and why reforming it was the only way to get our fiscal house in order," wrote Scott Walker in his book "Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge."
OWN UP TO YOUR MISTAKES 
Another important lesson is that when you screw up, own up to it.... At the same time, never apologize for doing the right thing. Some of my advisers wanted me to apologize to the state for the unrest over Act 10. That would have been a terrible mistake. Reforming collective bargaining was the right thing to do. Moreover, we never responded in kind to the provocations of the protesters, or did anything to bring dishonor to our state. Apologizing would have done nothing to win over those who were angry with me. And it would have dispirited those who stood with me— folks who supported me precisely because we stood on principle. While I did not apologize, I did acknowledge a critical error I made, which was not properly preparing the people of Wisconsin for our reforms. I was so eager to fix the problems we faced, I did not do enough to explain to people what they were or why our solutions were the right course. I’ve learned from that experience and applied those lessons when announcing subsequent reforms.
These passages came to mind today as I was trying to think about Walker's plan for the University of Wisconsin System. He's coming in for a lot of criticism, from people who are trying hard to stir up outrage and fear that the Republicans are out to wreck the University of Wisconsin. So where is the evidence that Walker has learned the lesson he wrote that he'd learned? Is he helping people understand why he has chosen this path? Is he properly preparing the people of Wisconsin for his reforms? I haven't seen it, and I constantly scan the news, especially the news about Wisconsin and the university where I have worked for so many years.

79 comments:

Bay Area Guy said...

Maybe, Governor Walker can explain that cutting some of the waste at the public University, will result in lower taxes for the citizens and lower tuition for the students. Something like that.

Will said...

"If you like your tenure, you can keep your tenure"

"If you like your pension, you can keep your pension"

He has hired Gruber to help with the rollout….

So surely none of the flee baggers will have a problem…. Right?

Bob said...

I don't care about tenure much one way or the other, but the idea that you can't cut salaries of government employees across the board whenever needed is ridiculous. If the money is short, let the professors keep their jobs -- just reduce their pay however much is necessary to balance the budget.

Larry J said...

"Blogger Bob said...
I don't care about tenure much one way or the other, but the idea that you can't cut salaries of government employees across the board whenever needed is ridiculous. If the money is short, let the professors keep their jobs -- just reduce their pay however much is necessary to balance the budget."

Or, God forbid, cut some of the bloated administrative overhead at all levels of government including the university system.

Rose said...

When a simple thing like letting school districts put their insurance contracts up for bid saved millions upon millions, it should be pretty clear to people, whether Walker explains it or not. People need to get off their PARTISAN high-horses and recognize that solving the problems benefits EVERYONE. Well, ok, maybe not the Unions, but what do they care?

Sebastian said...

"people who are trying hard to stir up outrage and fear that the Republicans are out to wreck the University of Wisconsin"

I doubt there's anything he could have done to "prepare" those people, or to assuage them. Walker was talking about the "people of the state." Still, policy changes need to be packaged and presented properly.

My impression is that the legislative changes will bring WI in line with most other states. If that's wrong, I'm happy to be corrected; if it's true, what's the big deal?

Expat(ish) said...

You may be thinking that anyone outside your system cares about this issue.

I was just sandwiched between two professionals from WI. Neither had any idea what I was talking about.

I gave a neutral explanation and they just shrugged.

-C

great Unknown said...

Where would you have obtained the information, Professor? In which unbiased, honest agency of the MSM?

buwaya said...

I'm glad he is doing something about UW, because if it works someone may be motivated to do something about UC.

cold pizza said...

Thank you, great Unknown!

If a conservative speaks in the forest, does he make the news? (Answer: Of course he does! In the worse possible way!)-CP

Alex said...

Sorry Scottie, you didn't run in 2010 on union busting. You sprung that on the electorate in 2011 and you paid the price!

buwaya said...

Besides saving the public a substantial sum (hey, maybe it can be redirected to some other Democratic project, like free healthcare), it also is a great help to poor students.

My kids friends, some of them, had to forgo UC schools in spite of being accepted at UC Berkeley or UCLA, as they would have to go into heavy debt to attend. So they went to lesser schools in the Cal State system, or community college.

And because of limits in State funding, plus unaffordability to much of the California public, the UC schools are now preferring foreign and out-of-state students, thus displacing locals.

These are a very common situations here, and I expect the same is true in WI.

These are excellent populist, left wing arguments I would think.

Mark said...

His ad in October sure prepared us for the 20 week abortion ban. Actually, it prepared us for doing nothing on the topic ... just like this UW stuff.

Not a peep before the first Tuesday in November, though the plans were already being drawn well before then.

He does it every time, and his people eat it up like caviar. He acts contrite like a good ministers boy should and he is forgiven until the budget cycle when wouldn't you know, it happens once again.

Gusty Winds said...

He's coming in for a lot of criticism, from people who are trying hard to stir up outrage and fear that the Republicans are out to wreck the University of Wisconsin.

Walker should just tell in like it is. The educated University elite are being dishonest and disingenuous. They know what is wrong. They know his reforms are reasonable and needed. They know their precious tenure protects their jobs and allows them to stir up fear among the lesser uneducated masses. What a massive propaganda lie being promoted by those that claim to educate. Altruism my ass.

Maybe the University leadership should quit behaving like a bunch of self-serving sophists.

God forbid one of our leaders actually acts on what he knows is right.

Gahrie said...

The traditional colleges on the UW campus should ban together and demand that the first cuts be to the bloated "studies" departments, and then to the administration. only after all of the bogus academics and extra administrators are gone should any other cuts be considered.

Let the other states waste their money on Black studies, Women's studies, Hispanic studies, gay studies etc.

Does Wisconsin really need any more professionals in these areas?

Michael K said...

"You sprung that on the electorate in 2011 and you paid the price!"

Yeah, he sure did. Probably the next president.

Dope.

garage mahal said...

Well, Walker said businesses compete for talent. He ought to know spending virtually his entire career in government. So there's your answer.

Louis said...

It seems Walker's ghostwriter is ahead of the actual governor, as a manager.

Theodore James said...

Ms Althouse,

Why does he need to explain in detail what he is trying to do over time.

He is correct in what he has done so far and if he had allowed the argument to go longer it would have filled the Capitol building with a bunch of hyperventalating lefties.

Of course that would make for a great pictorial ala 2011.

I kind of like the guy.

Ryan said...

Cruel "neutrality"? Isn't this the first Althouse post on Scott Walker that critical?

Althouse and Meade were firmly on Walker's side during the union-busting but now that he is going after tenure he needs to explain himself? Cannot be a coincidence.

Anyone who does not themselves have tenure knows and understands the faults. For example, would any attorney in the private sector have the time to blog prolifically?

Questions for Althouse:

How many journal articles did you publish before getting tenure? After? Have you ever blogged at work on non-law topics?

Mazo Jeff said...

I forgot. Could someone remind me how much was in the "rainy day" fund???

cubanbob said...

How many private sector workers have tenure? Somehow I don't think this is as big a deal as those living off the taxpayers think it is. On the contrary, if anything this sort of thing just raises Walker's popularity among republican base voters. How many parents struggling to pay for their kids tuition are going to care if a bunch of superfluous administrators and departments of studies that will never get someone a job get axed? If tuition's are lowered and professors actually do the bulk of the teaching they will be more than fine with that.

Goju said...

Maybe the Gov.should bring in a team of forensic accountants and the taxpayers can see where all the money goes.

garage mahal said...

YES on WISGOP gerrymandering tenure , NO on academic freedom. #Tools

walter said...

Yeah..he should learn how to message controversial approaches..like UW did regarding the $$ they squirreled away while cranking up tuition. Or the petty baby like myopia the protest gang engaged in..great messaging. But while contemporary academia finds "privilege" under every rock, not too willing to give up theirs.

PML said...

Well, Republican people of Wisconsin, that's what you get for voting for this guy three times. I know it's tough dealing with buyer's remorse, but stop your whining.

Jack Wayne said...

Try this Ann

walter said...

WI is/was in the tank for Obama twice. If there's discontent, it involves Dems. And only one poll matters.

Anonymous said...

This is what Obama says all the time.

If only people understood him, and he explained it better, everyone would be on board.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

"not properly preparing the people of Wisconsin for our reforms."

=

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7v8f8jBrW8


It seems as though Walker's book is manipulative BS--as is to be expected from a campaign book. His actions and candid comments indicate that he's an ideological purist, which is something Althouse has claimed to oppose. But, Althouse eagerly supports Walker. Althouse is like Walker's book.

Or, maybe Althosue is having second thoughts about Walker. Maybe Althouse is going through some sort of Niemöller thing, except with relatively trivial impacts instead of Niemöller level devastation.

walter said...

Yayy..the inevitable tie in to Nazis. Bravo..

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Walter, congratulations for ignoring the second part of that comment, i.e. the part that said this was trivial when compared to the Nazis.

Duh.

PBandJ_LeDouanier said...

Walt,

Is it true? Is ignor-ance bliss?

walter said...

Sorry PBJ..I read that...just makes it all the more sly a way to drag it in. Well done.

MadisonMan said...

Why does he need to explain in detail what he is trying to do over time.

He said he should have done so in the past, in his book. Why isn't he doing so now?

Did he actually mean what he "wrote" in his book?

Birches said...

I think it's possible to make reforms and piss off the "right" people, while getting "We, the People" firmly behind you. See Mitch Daniels at Purdue. It doesn't seem like Walker is following that playbook.

Mark said...

CubanBob just about every major private university has tenure. So yes, the private sector of academia is 100% on board with tenure.

If you pulled your head out of your ass and looked at the private sector of universities you find tenure everywhere as private schools know it is the best system for recruiting and keeping top staff.

The private sector has spoken loud and clear. Why dont you actually listen?

Mark said...

MadisonMan, that must be one of the sections Marc Thiessen wrote for him.

Perhaps another 'drafting error' that it comes out later was intentional?

jeff said...

Ding... Ding.... Ding.... Cubanbob nails it, outside the bobble known as UW system no one cares if Professors loose tenure.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

Agreed, and well said, Gov. Walker: do not apologize for doing the right thing; does not assuage the opposition, does dispirit the supporters.

Then Walker issues an apology - for "not properly preparing the people..." Apology not needed and ineffective; betokens weakness rather than compassion.

*NO* amount of "preparation" would have stilled outrage of some groups. You *never* would have got past the pre-game warmup.

Hammond watched events from Texas - copious thanks to Althouse and Meade. A job well done, Gov. Walker. No apology needed nor wanted, for any part of it.

(Yes, there is a parallel to Obama's "shut up, we won attitude." Outcome is different however. I sense increasing understanding, acceptance, and appreciation in Wisconsin for Walker's actions. I sense increasing rejection nationally for Obama's actions.)

james conrad said...

There is another Govt sponsored bubble building that is not sustainable and is already hurting the economy, school loans. The numbers are staggering, over one trillion in outstanding loans backed by the Feds. Naturally, colleges have rushed in with price increases, administrators, crapola studies departments, etc. to sop up all this federal money. There is going to be a crash in higher education, the only question is, when.
Maybe Walker is trying to get ahead of the coming crash?

David Hampton said...

Tenure, since the 60's, has been little more than a loyalty test by the same anarchists that took over the Dean's office at various universities across the country. Incestuous from the beginning, the anarchists promoted their own up to, and including today, giving us folks like Ward Churchill, Bill Ayers, etc. who were promoted based on their sick philosophies poking the "MAN" in the eye. How about academic achievement instead of an ideology based on utopian progressivism? Hold them to same rigorous requirements of success in the private sector. Why teach feminism when radical Islam degrades women? Why ban ROTC when the only thing protecting us from radical Islam in the United States is law enforcement and the military? Black studies gives us riots in the ghetto and a neutered police presence. Inclusiveness gives us millions of refugees from Mexico, Central America, and South America who are supposed to vote democrat destroying our cities and our economy. Anyone see a nexus in this? I'm with Walker. Do your work quietly through the process without giving the anarchists an audience. They don't deserve it, especially after the recent John Doe outrage in Wisconsin politics.

Fabi said...

I read cubanbob's 'private sector' comment to mean non-government, non-academic; that is, the real world. And he makes a good point.

Lost My Cookies said...

Given that every headline says he's going to destroy tenure and the (some?) article text says that the university system will or has voted to make tenure official university policy, it doesn't seem like Walker is the problem.

Farmer said...

Ryan said...

Althouse and Meade were firmly on Walker's side during the union-busting but now that he is going after tenure he needs to explain himself? Cannot be a coincidence.


Ding ding fucking ding. Transparent, embarrassing, pitiful.

Don't like being called an elitist, lazy, overpaid leech, Althouse? You laid down with pigs - now you get to wake up in shit. Enjoy!

Ann Althouse said...

I am agreeing with Walker that he needs to communicate with the people about these big reforms. He and the GOP legislature used the power they had to accomplish things they supposedly thought would be beneficial, but their enemies dominated the speech arena. Walker wrote that he learned a big lesson from the Act 10 experience, but I see the same thing happening again. Where's the communication? I'm withholding my judgment because I don't trust the people I'm hearing and I'm not hearing from those who are holding and wielding power. That's not my idea of how things should work, but I am not taking a position on the reforms, so comments like Farmer's (just above) are obtuse.

Some people say: liberals control the media and Walker can't get his message out. Well, was Walker lying in his book when he said he would change his ways? At least send me some press releases or something.

Ann Althouse said...

No one has sent me a link or a press release, despite this post being up for a while, explaining the plan for the University of Wisconsin.

Ann Althouse said...

@Jack Wayne

Thanks, but of course, that's about K-12 education, not the University System.

Peter said...

Gov. Walker could point out that higher ed. in its present form is unsustainable, that decades of cost increases beyond the rate of inflation have made it increasingly unaffordable, that seemingly eternal constructs such as the credit-hour have not been around forever, that if cost increases continue as they have then eventually higher ed. will consume 100% of GDP and that if a thing can't continue forever then it won't, that higher ed. a few decades from now will probably look nothing like it does now, and will be better for it.

He could, but then some apparatchik would point out his lack of a college degree and he'd lose all his debating points.

But, he'd still be right.

Freder Frederson said...

why reforming it was the only way to get our fiscal house in order

Walker got Wisconsin's fiscal house in order? Who knew! I wouldn't consider a $2 billion structural deficit getting your fiscal house in order.

Freder Frederson said...

If tuition's are lowered and professors actually do the bulk of the teaching they will be more than fine with that.

These goals are contradictory.

Freder Frederson said...

Gov. Walker could point out that higher ed. in its present form is unsustainable, that decades of cost increases beyond the rate of inflation have made it increasingly unaffordable,

At public universities, a good portion of the cost increases have been caused by reduced state funding, putting more of the burden of paying for college on the individual student. A lot of countries have completely free higher education. Why can't we?

MayBee said...

A lot of countries have completely free higher education. Why can't we?

Who pays for the free education, and who receives it?

ps. A lot of countries make students pay for high school. Why can't we?

Freder Frederson said...

A lot of countries make students pay for high school. Why can't we?

Because the bedrock of our society is free, universal and compulsory public education, K-12.

MadisonMan said...

Never apologize.

Tank said...

Freder Frederson said...

why reforming it was the only way to get our fiscal house in order

Walker got Wisconsin's fiscal house in order? Who knew! I wouldn't consider a $2 billion structural deficit getting your fiscal house in order.


You would if you lived in NJ.

Freder Frederson said...

Some people say: liberals control the media and Walker can't get his message out.

Some people are idiots who believe what Rush Limbaugh tells them.

garage mahal said...

How soon before we see the headlines "UW faces faculty recruiting problems" and "UW tumbles again in latest rankings"

Republicans are playing with fire. It won't be long before the economic impact is felt, and it will be substantial.

Freder Frederson said...

You would if you lived in NJ.

Oh yeah, another state run into the ground by a Republican governor.

Wisconsin should be comparing its sad fiscal situation with Minnesota.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Freder Frederson said...
>>Some people say: liberals control the media and Walker can't get his message out.

Some people are idiots who believe what Rush Limbaugh tells them.


Bawahahahahaha. You obviously don't listen to Rush, or know anything about his audience. What else do you opine on, that you know nothing about?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

garage mahal said...
>>How soon before we see the headlines "UW faces faculty recruiting problems" and "UW tumbles again in latest rankings"

Republicans are playing with fire. It won't be long before the economic impact is felt, and it will be substantial.


Well, I'd miss some of the sport's teams, sure, but you have to break eggs to make an omelet.

Gusty Winds said...

I heard Walker say all over the airwaves that my if Professors taught one more class a semester, the system could save a lot of money. Some it seems, including our gracious host, just don't want to hear any of it.

After he made the suggestion you could hear the collective, whiny freak out rising from Madison. "You don't get it" "We're special" "Prestigious Professors don't actually teach classes. It's beneath them."

He even coaxed the University Chancellor to Admit that "top" professors are incentivized with low class loads.

The communication is fine.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Freder Frederson said...
>>A lot of countries make students pay for high school. Why can't we?

Because the bedrock of our society is free, universal and compulsory public education, K-12.


How's that bedrock workin' out for Blacks?

Seems you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him think.

Freder Frederson said...

I heard Walker say all over the airwaves that my if Professors taught one more class a semester, the system could save a lot of money.

Which demonstrates that he doesn't know what the hell he is talking about or the purpose of a research university.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Freder Frederson said...
If tuition's are lowered and professors actually do the bulk of the teaching they will be more than fine with that.

These goals are contradictory.


Wow, you don't embarrass easily, do you.

Farmer said...

Althouse isn't taking a position on the reforms! Couldn't care less how it might affect her career! How obtuse of me!

garage mahal said...

I heard Walker say all over the airwaves that my if Professors taught one more class a semester, the system could save a lot of money

Sez lazy fucker too lazy to finish college himself, who currently works a few days per month, who's housing, health care, and salary is 100% paid for by taxpayers.

MikeR said...

"So yes, the private sector of academia is 100% on board with tenure.
If [nasty part removed] looked at the private sector of universities you find tenure everywhere as private schools know it is the best system for recruiting and keeping top staff."
That's your opinion. Perhaps instead: that is the customary practice right now, and private schools believe that they can't hire without tenure, because that is the customary practice.

But maybe times are changing, potential professors are far more desperate for jobs now than they once were, and maybe this custom is outdated. If so it will change, and we'll see what happens in Wisconsin. Chill.

Freder Frederson said...

You obviously don't listen to Rush

Ah, but I do. I believe in knowing your enemy. One of his persistent themes is how the "drive by" media covers up the truth, that only he is brave enough to expose. His "truth" is nothing but a series of half-truths and outright lies.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Freder Frederson said...
You obviously don't listen to Rush

Ah, but I do. I believe in knowing your enemy. One of his persistent themes is how the "drive by" media covers up the truth, that only he is brave enough to expose. His "truth" is nothing but a series of half-truths and outright lies.


Examples, please. Then, watch me shoot them down.

garage mahal said...

"“People are absolutely panicking. People are getting text and email from other universities to see if they are interested in leaving,” says Pamela Herd, a professor of public affairs at UW Madison.

“I’ve been contacted by two universities in the last 48 hours and I’ve talked to other faculty who has also received contacts from other institutions,” says Moynihan.
The elimination of tenure could make other universities and research institutions more attractive to faculty at UW.

“This is going to happen very quickly, within a couple of years if UW Madison and the UW System don’t keep a robust version of tenure. You’re going to see these faculty poached away,” says Moynihan."

Todd said...

Freder Frederson said...
Gov. Walker could point out that higher ed. in its present form is unsustainable, that decades of cost increases beyond the rate of inflation have made it increasingly unaffordable,

At public universities, a good portion of the cost increases have been caused by reduced state funding, putting more of the burden of paying for college on the individual student. A lot of countries have completely free higher education. Why can't we?

6/5/15, 8:17 AM


You say that like the University is living hand-to-mouth. Do you know what their current endowment is? Do you know what their current admin to student ratio is? Do you know what their current Professor to class level is?

You sound like the Democrats in Congress that cry about a slowdown in the rate of department funding being a "cut".

If this change is not good, it will become apparent within a few years and if so, can be changed. The current course is unsustainable and something needs to be done. This may not be the best something but at least it has a possibility of working whereas "keep raising tuition" will not.

And hey, it is not like this is the ONLY University in the country. If it does indeed turn to crap, other than a bunch of administrators and some professors, who is really affected? The students will just go elsewhere. The good professors would just go elsewhere. Live will go on...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

garage mahal said...
“This is going to happen very quickly, within a couple of years if UW Madison and the UW System don’t keep a robust version of tenure. You’re going to see these faculty poached away,” says Moynihan."


Prediction: If that happens, no one will notice.

Rusty said...

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
"why reforming it was the only way to get our fiscal house in order

Walker got Wisconsin's fiscal house in order? Who knew! I wouldn't consider a $2 billion structural deficit getting your fiscal house in order.

6/5/15, 8:12 AM

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
If tuition's are lowered and professors actually do the bulk of the teaching they will be more than fine with that.

These goals are contradictory.

6/5/15, 8:15 AM

Blogger Freder Frederson said...
Gov. Walker could point out that higher ed. in its present form is unsustainable, that decades of cost increases beyond the rate of inflation have made it increasingly unaffordable,

At public universities, a good portion of the cost increases have been caused by reduced state funding, putting more of the burden of paying for college on the individual student. A lot of countries have completely free higher education. Why can't we?"


Can't-Get-My-Fist-Out-Of-The-Fucking-Jar!

President-Mom-Jeans said...

"Sez lazy fucker too lazy to finish college himself"

Oh really? Please, middle school athletic hero, tell us more about people who don't go to college.

Tell us about al of your advanced educational degrees, Bitchtits.

We all are waiting.

mikee said...

When the next job interviewer asks me to name my worst fault, I'm going with Walker's blithe comment, that I don't explain to others quite well enough about just how wonderful I am and how well I do my job.

Thanks, Scott!

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

Hey! Where did Freder Frederson go? I'm waiting for my examples, dude.

walter said...

"the private sector of academia" Heh...

J Sutherland said...

What a lot commentators don't get is that tenure is going away any way. The fact is many universities are abolishing tenure track positions in favor of adjunct professors and part time teachers. Those same universities know that traditional model is not sustainable. OTOH, they should cut administration positions.