New Badger Partnership: Lies and Deception

I’ll preface this by saying that I have no problems with differences of opinion. I work on Council and if you can’t deal with many opinions there, you’ve picked the wrong business. Being a student leader necessitates that I listen, and try to understand as many perspectives as possible before any sort of decision.  However, opinions do not equal lies.

There is a tremendous amount of disingenuous information on Facebook, Twitter, and just about everywhere else, saying what the New Badger Partnership is and isn’t.  For the most part, it’s not worth the time spent reading it.  I’ve answered questions on two separate occasions on this blog: here and here. Additionally, there is a truckload of information at the official website.

Right now, there is a protest organizing on Facebook against the “destruction of our university” and the Chancellor.  I can respect your opinion that the NBP could be bad for the university so the theme itself doesn’t bug me, but the blatant lies and misinformation is a slap in the face to honest students everywhere. Some examples from the group.

Chancellor Biddy Martin, in collusion with Gov. Scott Walker, recently proposed that UW-Madison be cut off from the UW-System, effectively making it a private institution (though they continue to say in her office that it will somehow still remain public). The proposal will be rolled into and made a part of Gov. Scott Walker’s Budget, set to be released on Tues., Mar. 1.

It’s Public because the governor appoints the majority of the board and we receive state funds.  It’s literally the same structure as it is before just creating a new Board of Regents. Our employees remain with the state’s benefits packages, they can maintain state employee retirement accounts, our students have access to the public school scholarships they currently do, etc.  Our budget is currently patched up by 75% private funds: this proposal does not change a thing there or make us less “public” than we were before.  Quit lying.

This is highly problematic for many reasons, including higher tuition, more corporatized research (and less research in the public interest), less affordably and accessibility of the University for Wisconsin citizens (the Wisconsin Idea, a centerpiece of UW-Madison, is dedicated to serving the people of Wisconsin, not its corporations–this includes being accessible to the citizens financially, too), more of a need to take out loans for students at all levels (resulting in less career/job flexibility post-college), and the list goes on endlessly.

I addressed this part on the site but my comment was deleted. Discourse and discussion is only encouraged by these individuals when its in agreement.

  1. Higher Tuition: That’s the fault of the budget. Walker gives us less money, tuition must go up. It’s just math, folks. A + B = budget.  If B goes down, A must go up. The NBP allows us to respond creatively and lessen the tuition increase.  But it will go up, with or without this plan. So drop this point, it’s misleading and irrelevant.
  2. Research: Research is almost entirely funded by private dollars right now.  Public money pays for undergraduate education.  This point again is misleading and not applicable.
  3. Less affordable and accessible: With higher tuition, inevitably some students are priced out, which is a tragedy.  However, these flexibilities would allow us to provide some financial aid from the increased tuition revenue to allow more students access to financial aid.  The University of Virginia was recently named the TOP school for affordability and many of the flexibilities were modeled on that system.  This will only help accessibility. I respect if you disagree but do some research into higher education models and get outside your “own experience”. This is something that can be directly solved. Read the linked article; it should explain some of it.
  4. The list goes on endlessly? That was three things.


Creator Steve Horn and a fellow Badger got into it a bit on one of the Chancellor’s Facebook posts


My point is that I see no persuasive evidence for your claim that anything in the New Badger Partnership would integrate (or, if your highly debatable claim is true, further integrate) UW into such a system. As you said yourself UW-Madison is already 80%+ privately funded, how does allowing ourselves to better utilize these funds for building, scholarship, and hiring purposes have anything to do with that? What you’re talking about is a greater institutional issue that extends well beyond the reach of the NBP and the state itself, and which would not be re-inforced by the relatively modest changes proposed by the NBP. I believe you have an interest in bringing this issue to light, which is great (and I support), but attempting to link the NBP to that issue without evidence related specifically to the case makes your claim unsubstantiated.

At this point I have asked repeatedly for your pragmatic alternative plan to the NBP of which it is clear that you have no viable option. I suggest that anyone reading this string of posts consider that when they listen to the complaints about the NBP: what are the honest alternatives?. If there is one, I’d love to know it. As for now, I don’t like the idea that my tuition money is being wasted on an inefficient bureaucratic system that will not allow our administrators to make basic, necessary decisions, nor the idea that this system is quickly degrading the value of the degree that I have worked so hard to earn. I believe that given the current economic situation, the NBP is the only option for reversing this trend.

Emphasis mine.  Steve dismissed this critique by saying his fellow Badger was a “hired gun” sent to argue the points by those in the Ivory Tower on Bascom.  Max Love, a similarly disingenuous individual, also posted earlier in the thread

Maxwell John Love She must be paying you off too? Recommendation letters? Box seats? Trips to LA?

In disclosure, I have sat in her box at one football game. It was fun, but being in the student section is a helluva lot better! I have never taken a trip with the Chancellor, nor do I plan on asking for a Letter of Rec. With that being said, I find it insulting that everytime someone agrees that a member of administration is correct, they are discounted as a student sell-out or being paid off.  What’s disgusting? That notion.

Don’t let misinformation survive. Stamp it out. Call them out on it. Ask for evidence. I document my claims on this blog and I’d ask for a similar courtesy. These extremists have their own agenda which has nothing to do with the continued success of the university. If you have an alternate proposal, propose it, until then, quit lying about the one on the table.

I stand by Brandon and I’s earlier remarks as well as the remarks made by Professor Cronon, former Chancellor Shalala, the Deans of all the schools, and a multitude of others in standing firm in our support of Chancellor Martin and the principles of the New Badger Partnership. On Wisconsin



6 Comments on “New Badger Partnership: Lies and Deception”

  1. xxx says:

    so wat makes u say that u know the truth? wat makes u think that u know more things than da others? wat makes u think that others r wrong n dat u are not fooled around by admins and ppl at the capitol? u n otherz r just pets of the admins. r u reaching out to ur constituents? r u really thinking about the enefit of the campus or just urself?

    • Adam J says:

      To address your last question, I’m not sure how this personally would benefit me in any way. I’ll be long gone before the lasting benefits of this are felt.

      As for the other points, I feel that I am correct based on what I have seen from the Governor’s Office and from the documents I’ve seen from the UW side. I’ve seen stuff on both sides and it matches up. Could it change and could I be wrong? Sure, but I don’t think I am.

      Look at my points at point out where I’m wrong based on the information. It’s easy to conjecture and conceive of a scenario in which things could potentially be bad but that assumes a lot.

      My assumption is simply that the state legislature recognizes that the UW is an economic giant in the state and won’t radically deteriorate it, and that our administration who deal with students daily actually like the university and want success. My assumptions take far less of a leap of faith than the assumptions required to believe that this would result in becoming a private institution.

      As far as outreach goes, I’ve had many conversations in a variety of settings (no, I haven’t hosted my own forum or anything) and most people come in feeling cautious and leave feeling in favor. I understand if you are not one of those in favor, but democracy always has those in favor and those opposed.

  2. eeee says:

    d o u think if i rite like dis it makez me seem not like a kampz elite and mor3 like a normla stoodent?

  3. George Minor says:

    All of the Chancellor’s communications have been incredibly (and I presume intentionally) vague about how this “increased flexibility” associated with the NBP will be used. For the past 40 years, in any public sector and any other such publicly-financed arena, “flexibility” has been a code-word for abandoning standards that benefit the least-paid and the least-privileged. This is exactly why I and so many others will continue to oppose the NBP.

  4. George Minor says:

    “It’s Public because the governor appoints the majority of the board and we receive state funds.”

    Actually, this logic is a bit cheap. Administrative arrangements does not manifest that which is public – it is its tool and regulatory mechanism.

    “Public,” and this is exactly what the “lying through their teeth” TAA has been expressing, means benefiting the public – the students as well as the tax payers. Again, “public” is not distribution of funds – it is the benefit. A useful analogy here is the term “public transportation”: it is not called “public” by how it is funded, but by who it serves. Hence, highways are not called “public transportation” – significant amounts of people do not have cars and therefore don’t use it. Hence, not public.

    While I disagree with some of TAAs claims, and am not a member, I had hoped that the authors examine the TAAs claims a bit more critically and in-depth.

  5. George Minor says:

    And last, something that should be mentioned on a blog related to an institution of education: “Lying through their teeth” is something I expect to see on FoxNews or If you want to make an effective argument, use language that is objective and rational. The TAA does this in their public statements, and any serious challenger to their claims ought to do the same.

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