New Badger Partnership: Governor to Release Budget as Support for NBP GrowsPosted: March 1, 2011
Well, this is it. Today at 4 pm CT, Governor Walker is expected to release his 2011-13 Biennium Budget, which could include many of the provisions that Chancellor Martin has advocated for in the New Badger Partnership. This according to WisPolitics:
The UW System is looking at a cut of about $250 million with UW-Madison taking the biggest hit of the campuses. To help offset that reduced aid, Madison would be spun off from the rest of the system into an independent authority, according to WisPolitics.com sources.
This is nothing new. I projected a $250 million cut to the UW System last week.
Support for the NBP is growing, too.
As University of Wisconsin Chancellor Biddy Martin watched this state’s government face deeper and deeper financial woes with the approach of the 2011-2013 budget, she could have sat back and asked the Legislature to consider the university’s own difficult financial situation.
She could have asked for less cuts, for provisions that would keep tuition low and financial aid flowing. She could have asked for the now-modest framework laid out in the original New Badger Partnership last fall.
But as budget details began to emerge and the state’s cost-cutting measures spurred a crisis of national importance, something became clear: Now is the time to ask for everything UW needs, and to package that request in a way the state cannot ignore.
The result, tentatively laid out in draft documents, letters and conversations, is a proposal that would give UW public authority status and significantly greater freedom from state oversight. The details currently backed by Martin would separate the university from the UW System, allocate most state funding in a single block grant and allow an independent governing board to set university policy and tuition rates.
Badger Herald LTE on Biddy, “the true champion of transparency”:
On the opposite end of the spectrum has been Martin. She has spent hours on Twitter responding directly to the concerns raised by students who are trying to understand the implications of this new direction. When a memo between Martin and Walker showed the chancellor supporting Madison spinning off from the entire system, she was quick to provide details to the student body about her position. In a recent e-mail, Martin provided her presentation to the Board of Regents. In the e-mail, she made it clear the question of whether or not Madison should separate from the entire system “is not the question that has guided our work.” Instead Martin made it clear that she and the university are doing the best they can to “create innovative possibilities” to “deal with the extreme challenges” that face all of us — students, faculty and staff.
Even in difficult budgetary times, the state can continue to invest in its flagship university by providing the types of flexibilities sought by Chancellor Martin. We seek your enthusiasm and support for the major impact this initiative will embody, and encourage the Governor, the Legislature and UW System to help us realize the goals of the New Badger Partnership, for the benefit of our students and Wisconsin.
And then of course, we have our very own Adam Johnson.
Stay tuned to the Campus First as we explore the budget bill in depth.