New Badger Partnership: TAA Urges “Slow Down” for NBP Decision Making

Last night, after 24 hours of hearing criticism over their first email, the TAA at Madison issues a second email, recanting some of their statements and more clearly outlining their concerns.

Dear Members,

Last night we sent out an email regarding the Special Meeting scheduled by the Board of Regents today to discuss the proposed split of UW-Madison from the UW System. Because the window available for notification of the meeting was extremely tight, and our concerns real and many, our email was written in haste. Today we write to clarify our stance and correct some misimpressions we may have given.

Our chief concerns are as follows. Firstly, the development of the New Badger Partnership and the accompanying process lacked transparency and prevented informed discussion of its impacts, both positive and negative. Second, the vitality and sustainability of our sister campuses once cut off from the UW-Madison is unknown, and the UW System has not had the opportunity to respond. Third and most directly relevant to the TAA as a union, the public authority model does *not* guarantee collective bargaining rights for TAs, PAs, or any other UW employees; indeed, if the Governor’s so-called “Budget Repair bill” succeeds in stripping collective bargaining rights from the current public authorities, there will be no existing model of collective bargaining for a public authority institution in Wisconsin. And finally, while it is not true that the New Badger Partnership is an opportunity for those in administration to wield unchecked power, we are nevertheless concerned that faculty, staff, and students might no longer have a meaningful place at the table to determine academic and research policy.

We need to slow down and take stock of the plan, in both its intended and unintended consequences. To that end, the TAA Executive Board has been discussing holding both a forum and a General Membership Meeting where members can learn more about the proposed changes to the UW System, and determine the TAA’s official stance on the issue, if any. We also encourage continued and fruitful participation in campus dialogue on the issue, engaging faculty, staff, administration, and all other stakeholders on this issue in a substantive discussion of the New Badger Partnership, on the merits. We hope you will join us at these and any other public opportunities to learn more about — and actively shape — the rapidly shifting climate of public higher education in Wisconsin.

In solidarity,
Kevin Gibbons
Alex Hanna

TAA Co-Presidents

I think the TAA makes some excellent points in this email and presents their concerns in a non-alarmist way.  Urging for a time to “slow down and take stock of the plan” is exactly what needs to happen across campus.

I’ve been examining these documents for weeks and been having this conversations with students, administration, and legislators for longer and I feel pretty comfortable in my decision but I know that there are many areas where personal opinions can affect one’s views on this proposal.

Thank you TAA for this message.  It’s a message we all need to be thinking about in the days and weeks to come.

Slow down, get the facts, read the actual language (the summary for now, the actual language on Tuesday), and discuss with friends. Challenge your own beliefs about it.  I know I’ve been playing Devil’s Advocate with myself and it really helps clarify what you actually oppose and what just gets lumped together.

Enjoy your weekend!



3 Comments on “New Badger Partnership: TAA Urges “Slow Down” for NBP Decision Making”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Which documents for weeks?

    I agree we all need to slow down, etc.. However, you said in your post that you have been examining “these documents for weeks”. Which documents? The summary documentation for Chpt 37 only came out a bit ago? Have you had other information like the University Committee did that wasn’t available to the entire public?

    • Adam J says:

      To my knowledge only Kyle Vandenlangenberg from ASM has seen the Ch. 37 draft to my knowledge. I was mostly referring to the memo when it was leaked, and the stuff that folks like Max and Brandon got during the open records request.

      I saw the summary that is now online 2 hours before it was posted online.

      University Committee was the only one who saw the actual language and when the dust settles, this will be something big. I don’t like that Staff and Students weren’t as involved as faculty.

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