New Badger Partnership: What We Know

There has been a lot of speculation/commentary/support/anger over the phrase “New Badger Partnership” but I’m going to try to set the record straight in some areas and just point out what we do and don’t know right now.

Myths to be dispelled:

  • This is Chancellor Martin’s proposal: FALSE, there is no proposal.  There is a list of statutes that restrict our operations and the Chancellor has indicated that the University would like more leeway with those.  That’s it.  There is no fleshed out Master Plan for language changes, that’s the Governor’s gambit still. We will know A LOT more after he presents the budget on February 22nd.
  • This is Privatization:  Mostly FALSE.  The actual funding sources don’t really change all that much.  We’re already funded privately by a good amount so using this term is both inaccurate and fear-mongering. There are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the NBP but don’t use misleading terminology to advance the cause.
  • ASM is in the Admin’s lap: FALSE.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked Dean Berquam in the eye and demanded that students continue to be involved. I can’t tell you how often Brandon has told the Chancellor that Chapter 36 in the state statutes ( 36.09(5) for those unfamiliar) cannot be touched by the changes.  We’ve assured that students won’t be screwed by a repeal of Shared Governance.  This is our most powerful tool and we are continuing to exert it.


  • Tuition will rise: With or without the NBP, tuition will rise. Governor Walker and the Legislature are slashing all around and the UW WILL HAVE TUITION INCREASES.  That’s just a fact so let’s not make THAT point central in this debate.
  • Shared Governance will be committed to:  Obviously, without a specific proposal from the Governor, we have no idea how the new model will look so we can’t plan definitely for what will happen.  We do, however, have commitments from the Chancellor and the Dean of Students that should the University gain unilateral tuition power, STUDENTS WILL BE APPOINTED TO THIS BOARD VIA SHARED GOVERNANCE.
  • State agencies that have asked for MORE money are being shut out:  According to a meeting I attended yesterday, when speaking about bargaining strategies, Vice-Chancellor Darrell Bazzell spoke of other “State Agencies that have been cut out of the process because they were asking for more money”.  Legislators ARE NOT WILLING TO LISTEN to additional funding proposals.  It’s a do the best with what you have mentality.
  • For more numerical/ specific info check the official site: New Badger Partnership I’ll let you decide what is fact and what is propaganda there, but I think it’s mostly solid.

What we don’t know:

  • The Governor’s Budget: the Governor will announce his budget on February 22nd and then we will have a few weeks to digest this and prepare an actual proposal/response.
  • The new structure: As frightening as it is, we won’t know the new structure until the budget is released with its changes.  AFTER the budget comes out, we can assure our specific places in the Shared Gov hierarchy but before then, it’s just a mental exercise that doesn’t accomplish much.
  • How Seg Fees will be treated:  ASM will be making (new legislation next week) the protection of our Segregated Fee reserves a top priority.  They shouldn’t be taken by the state but until they are reclassified or legally protected, they can be swept up, like what happened two years ago.

So there is a very brief outline hopefully without too much bias in one way or the other.  Educate yourselves on this matter. Read the paper.  Know what fellow students are thinking.

More to come



7 Comments on “New Badger Partnership: What We Know”

  1. Adam–take a look at what has transpired in Virginia between 2005-2010 and it will give you a glimpse of what could happen if some variation of the NBPI makes its way through the legislative and executive branches.

    Also, ask Dean Berquam and Chancellor Martin who they mean when they state they want the UW resident undergradute tuition to be near the median of our “peer universities.”

    Third, investigate which performance or outcome metrics will be used as our institutional accountability agreements prior to receiving flexibilities from the state and/or UW System. Students may or may not like what they will propose; faculty likely will not like what they will propose. In Virginia they are called Institutional Performance Agreements and they are audited by the state. Do you think that 36.09(5) applies? Likely not.

    And finally, which regulations are the target of the UW’s scorn: Wisconsin government? UW System? Both? If so, which ones? Oh, in Virginia, the four campuses that benefited most from the “Virginia Model” all had institutional board of visitors. Ergo sum, who should appoint our new campus board? What should be the composition? Should the Governor appoint with approval by the Senate? Other?

    If you want to wait until late February when Governor Walker unveils his state budget proposal then you’ll be playing catch-up, but by then it will be snaking its way through the Assembly, Senate, JCOF, and back to the Governor’s powerful line-item veto. If you wait will it be too late?

    Noel Radomski

    • Adam J says:

      Thanks for the reply Noel, I’ll write out a fleshed out post in a few days when I get a chance but those are good points that I should have addressed. Thanks again!

    • Kurt G says:

      In response to which peer median group does University admin want to place UW tuition, I think that point has been made quite clear over the last few years. The goal as explained during the MIU process is to target a tuition level around the Big Ten public median.

      Of course there is a second peer group often mentioned in discussions which involves the top public institutions in the country. This conversation often occurs in relation to faculty salaries and university prestige.

      Whether or not this is a possibility, I believe that the hope is to reach median Big Ten Public tuition to help provide median Top Public faculty salaries to compete for students amongst the Top Publics.

  2. […] NBP post coming up on Monday that will cover a couple points brought up by a comment in my previous post, and other criticisms of the proposal overall. This one is more about the conversations of the past […]

  3. […] 31, 2011 | Author: Adam J | Filed under: Uncategorized | Leave a comment » On Thursday, I posted about the NBP to dispel some of the myths that have been floating about.  Noel Radomski, a […]

  4. […] NBP post coming up on Monday that will cover a couple points brought up by a comment in my previous post, and other criticisms of the proposal overall. This one is more about the conversations of the past […]

  5. […] Badger Partnership: Q&A Posted by Adam at 6:44 pm Add commentsJan 312011On Thursday, I posted about the NBP to dispel some of the myths that have been floating about.  Noel Radomski, a […]

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