New Badger Partnership: TAA is lying through their teeth

I applaud the TAA for the effort put into the Budget Repair Bill work; it was truly inspiring and I’m glad I could help and be a part of it.

However, their recent email regarding the New Badger Partnership is one pack of lies after another. I literally JUST posted about how we need to stop lying about this proposal and have honest discussions.  I’m very disappointed in the TAA right now for their blatant disregard of truth.

Some examples

As you likely know, earlier this week, a huge bomb dropped that the upcoming budget bill would split the UW system in two, establishing UW-Madison as a “public authority” institution, with unprecedented freedoms to raise tuition, politicize research, and to silence students’ legal rights to shared governance. This model would strip other UW institutions of funding, and it goes against the role of the UW outlined in the Wisconsin Idea.

  1. Tuition: UW had the same power pre 1971. The Board of Regents can do the same thing now.  Hardly unprecedented and misleading.
  2. Research: As I stated before, its already private research for the most part.  There is nothing in here that would politicize it.
  3. Shared Governance: We can directly put a student on the board, unlike now where the governor selects whoever he damn well pleases. This is a win. Shared Governance language is preserved VERBATIM in the new bill. There is literally NO silencing.  This is a complete lie. No mincing words; the TAA is lying here.
  4. Strip other schools of funding: Madison currently gets 40% of the System’s budget.  The state now just gives us that amount directly instead of through system.  This again, is a lie.
  5. Wisconsin Idea: The Wisc Idea started at Madison when it was an independent school and flourished.  I’d imagine it would function perfectly fine returning to that form.  The Wisc Idea can be used to justify anything because its so flexible, making this point particularly weak.

And would you believe it, then the real misconceptions start.

Tuition increases would no longer be capped by state law. Tuition would have to increase at a dramatic rate due to reduced state funding (see below).

Shared Governance Rights
Because UW would no longer be a state agency, many court decisions relating to shared governance rights would no longer apply to the UW. Such rights include the right of students to appoint representatives to committees, the right of students to organize student government as they see fit, the rule that campus history and traditions dictate rights, and the right of faculty and students to initiate all policy changes.

State Funding
Funding the UW with a block grant would make it easier to dramatically reduce state funding in every future state budget process. The legislature could easily amend the biennial budget bill to remove UW-Madison funding specifically, and the governor’s line-item veto power could result in removal of any and all Madison funding.

Other state Universities, which remain fully public, would compete for funding against the UW. The
other campuses have greater legislative representation and would likely win this battle.

Board of Regents Policies & the New Board of Trustees
All current Board of Regents’ policies would now be under control of a new board that could be entirely appointed by Governor Walker.

Current regent policies dictate that students must approve differential tuition before it is implemented. The new board would not be bound to this policy.

Current regent policy provides each campus and chancellor with a great deal of autonomy. New board policy might place much of the control of campus policy in the purview of the new board.

The UW currently does research that a Republican appointed board would likely eliminate. For example, our New Board of Trustees could require that UW ban stem cell research.

  1. Shared Gov: See above. The court decisions would remain valid because the language of the law is the same.  A memo will be drafted outlining this, much like memos between the Chancellors during the merger became the rationale for case law in the 90s.  This would be no different.  Lovers of case law, no fear, Spoto is still here.
  2. State Funding: Sure and Walker could reveal he is a secretly an immortal vampire tomorrow.  This isn’t realistic.  The state will not remove all Madison funding. Scare tactics.
  3. Regent Policy: The language of the bill stipulates that all current Regent policy will be carried over to the new model.  That means that differential tuition must still be approved by students, among other things.
  4. Board composition: Those details have been released. Yeah, 11 are Walker’s appointees but that’s a lesser percent than he currently controls on the Board of Regents. This is an awful argument to make but a lot of people try to do so.  Of those 11, 7 have to be alums so they need some experience with the university.
  5. Research: Sure, they can ban things.  That would suck.  But so can the legislature. So can the Board of Regents.  And 11 of 21 is hardly a solid majority needed to do something like that.  I would imagine that it would fail.


I feel like I’m beating a dead horse but people continue to perpetuate these lies.  STOP!  Tell your friends what’s going on.  Ask them if they know the facts about this?  I’m not interested in playing a game with this; hell I graduate next year and will not see most of this stuff pan out.  I just don’t want my fellow badgers screwed over by liars and those with their own agendas. The one thing that these people have right is that this is the time to act; However, we must act in SUPPORT of our Chancellor, and in SUPPORT of these courageous and innovative ideas set to make Madison truly special and retain its quality for the future.


9 Comments on “New Badger Partnership: TAA is lying through their teeth”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by msnchica, University and State. University and State said: Stop the lies and deception about #UWNBP and @TheCampusFirst (via @AdamJohnson89) […]

  2. xxx says:

    u muss b shittin me. is nsf or nih or nasa or n whatever funds public or private?

    • Adam J says:

      Not sure I understood your question. Dollars from the state budget and tuition are public dollars now. All donations, and investments are private dollars. Currently, the ratio is 75% Private to 25% Public or so.

      The new model preserves that ratio but allows for more control over the 25% that is public so that we can better utilize that portion of the budget.

      Sorry if that didn’t help.

  3. Erkin O says:

    Hi Adam,

    I think the 25% public – 75% private budget is a little misleading.

    The 2010-11 Budget breakdown is as follows:
    * State & Federal Appropriation: 17.9% (Mostly from the state – public funds)
    * Operational Receipts: 36.1% (Fees, Enterprises, and Receipts – “private”)
    * Gifts & Grants: 40% (Federal Grants/Contracts make up 60% of this category – Research Money)

    These federal grants (mostly for scientific research) come in many forms from many organizations (such as the NIH, NSF, CDC, etc.) I’m not really sure how one should classify them, it may not even be pertinent.

    The important thing is what the UW does with these funds. With these grants the UW fights cancer, studies neutrinos, develops new optimization techniques, and much more. As long as the UW continues to foster brilliant minds it will continue to serve the Wisconsin Idea.

    • Brandon W. says:

      This is a good distinction, Erkin. I’ve heard discussions of people wanting to take research grant monies out of our percent revenue. When you do this, the percent of undergrad tuition covered by the state goes up in real terms. In my opinion, its misleading either way, so its probably best to just know the distinction exists.

    • Adam J says:

      Erkin, thank you for the breakdown! I didn’t have the numbers in front of me so I just repeated what I remembered.

      I think your last paragraph is the best summary for the funding streams. Spot on. Thanks!

  4. […] As I perused the web this morning, I came upon this Youtube video calling out the TAA and opponents of the New Badger Partnership for deceit and distortion of facts. […]

  5. Actually Spoto is still HERE at UW-Platteville 😛
    [link: ] The first link talks about the Spoto case for any of you whom may be unfamiliar with the 36.09 ruling that gives us our rights to shared governance… the third link is his “rate my professor” for UW-Platteville.

    Anyone that has had him as a Spanish teacher knows that he is REALLY hard and demanding… not many people enjoy his class. I’ve never taken any of his. If you don’t believe me you don’t believe me check out his rate my professor page.

    Outside of his classroom he truly cares about the university and people. I’ve had some opportunities to work with him on some Faculty Senate proposals that have come through Student Senate. I’d be really interested to hear his point of view on the NBP and I think I’m going to go find him later this coming week and talk to him about it.

    Keep up all the great writing!



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