New Badger Partnership: Lies and DeceptionPosted: February 24, 2011
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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