Springtime for Walker and Wisconsin

Winter for …

From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison will eliminate about 400 positions, most of them vacant, and will close or restructure several academic programs across campus over the next two years in response to state budget cuts, Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced on her blog Friday.

The College of Letters and Science — which teaches more than 80% of all freshman and sophomore credit hours, and nearly 60% of the overall credit hours at UW-Madison — will drop roughly 320 courses across departments by the end of fiscal 2017. Fewer courses and class sections will reduce the total number of class seats by nearly 9,000, according to the college’s dean, Karl Scholz.

The course cuts are linked to eliminating 92 positions: 48 faculty and 44 academic staff, including instructional staff, Scholz said. Graduate students who teach labs and introductory courses also would be affected as the college cuts $7.4 million (5%) of its $145 million base budget.

Ultimately, Blank said, cuts will likely lead to larger class sizes, reduced course options and fewer undergraduate advisers. Retention rates and time to degree also could be affected because this is just the beginning of cost-cutting measures, she said.

“I want to emphasize that these changes, as difficult as they are, cannot and will not stop with this year’s budget,” Blank said in her blog, Blank’s Slate.

More from Chancellor Blank here. A recent tabulation of the economic impact of UW-Madison on the state economy (including Federal grants brought in) here.

Placing these cuts in context, some discussion of higher education on state growth, see here.

9 thoughts on “Springtime for Walker and Wisconsin

  1. W.C. Varones

    It’s about time! I wish the University of California would follow Wisconsin’s lead and cut administrative overhead. Instead, California is raising tuition and cutting admissions for residents in favor of higher-fee paying out-of-staters!

    Have you seen the graphs of administrator-to-faculty growth over time? Amazing! And the pay and perks scandals at the UC? Disgusting!

    1. Robert Hurley

      Yup that what all colleges and universities should do. Why not carry this policy to its logical conclusion – fire all teachers.
      We need to eliminate all vestiges of truth! The ultimate Varones policy!

  2. Jake fomerly of the LP

    Varones doesn’t live here. There are 7 other UW campuses that have announced buyouts and/or layoffs, with more likely to come as the Wisconsin Legislature delays on the budget, because they have no revenues (no kids, those corporate tax cuts do not pay for themselves). And we are not the UC and we are not underfunded like CALPERS. Oddly, California keeps adding jobs in large amounts while Wisconsin stagnates, maybe because there’s still some semblance of understanding of human capital there.

    But I’m sure having an undereducated, low quality-of-life state with its natural beauty being destroyed will attract talent to a state that’s got snow on the ground for 4 months out of the year (slams head on desk).

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Samuel: If one believes in the usefulness of the reserve army of unemployed to keep wages in check, this is no problem, and is in fact, a virtue — at least for the firms’ profits.

    2. Jake formerly of the LP

      Agree with Samuel that UW campuses outside of Madison will feel the bigger hit, because Madison has research grants and a larger donor base to fall back on. Those other campuses (who enroll a lot more students than Madison does) will be damaged more, with less chance of recovery

  3. Ricardo

    Could this be “Spring Time for Wisconsin?” As government grows, government autocracy grows. As government autocracy grows, government Fascism grows. As they, say the larger the government, the smaller the citizen.

  4. Ricardo

    Is Wisconsin’s Progressive Spring much different from the Arab Spring? Where is the media call for prosecutions? Where is Menzie’s? If he was seriously concerned about Wisconsin he would stand against these abuses of power.

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