Friday, May 29, 2015

The UW gets hurt badly, no matter what Ray Cross spins

Well, if you want to read the JFC's lame decision to keep massive cuts to the UW System, and mess with the universities' governance, here it is. The only positive in this is that the UW System Authority is taken away, but that doesn't come close to making up for the following.

1. Cut in base funding is still $250 million over these next 2 years, and undergraduate tuition stays frozen, so don't count on many of the potential layoffs and reduction of classes across the campuses to be restored.

2. Shared governance and tenure protections removed. Sure, UW President Ray Cross and Board of Regents VP Regina Miller are claiming that these standard will "live on," but would why would we believe that? Hell, the Board of Regents is becoming stacked with Walker cronies, including the son of Walker's campaign manager from the anti-public school Bradley Foundation. Tell me how you can get talent to come to a UW school when you're cutting funding, cutting their protections, and being overseen by anti-education hacks appointed by someone who was kicked out dropped out of college?

3. Allowing UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee to contract for charter schools, but it does appear that any other campuses can do the same (gee, wonder why only them?), allow Gateway Tech to do charters in Kenosha and Racine, and a fraudulent provision that allows County Exec Paul Farrow (a massive school privatizer) to contract for charter schools in Waukesha County as well. What the fuck does this have to do with higher education? Nothing, other than likely making the potential group of applicants worse, but the voucher people have to be paid back for their campaign contributions, don't they?

There are also a couple of follow-ups from yesterday's post on the extra things outside of the base funding for the UW System.

4. The JFC motion still includes Gov Walker's $21.3 million in compensation reserves for salaries and benefits, but they split it up with $7.9 million being added in Year 1 of the budget, and $13.4 million in Year 2. The other main difference is that the $21.3 million in added funding is added to the UW System's base funding, so there isn't the back-door cut of $21.3 million looming for the 2017-19 budget like there was in Walker's budget. I suppose that's an improvement, but compared to the other crap, it's nowhere near enough.

5. The appropriations for all of the Seg Fund items were restored, along with $124,000 more for UW-Stevens Point's paper science program, for a total price tag of a bit over $2.7 million. The Indian Gaming items were also restored, and the Acquaculture facility in Ashland even got another $100,000, so that's another $1.35 million got kicked. However, all of the environmental-related items were not restored, which includes these three items.

Bioenergy Initiative $7,138,200
Wisconsin Environmental Education Board $461,000
UW Extension Recycling Education $1,100,400
TOTAL $8,699,600

Hmm, but the paper science program gets a boost. Wonder what message the GOPs on the JFC are trying to send, and what industries they might be getting the donations from? Just a blatantly corrupt and regressive move.

There's a lot more to go over in the coming days, but the final reaction I have for now is directed at UW System President Ray Cross, because Ol' Ray wants to pat himself on the back for what will be left of the once-great UW.
I want to express my gratitude to these legislators as well as the others who have worked to reduce the cut and provide the System with needed flexibilities. I know this has been a difficult budget with many tough decisions. The work of the committee illustrates a willingness to open a new dialogue and partnership between the legislature and the UW System. I am committed to working to build on this foundation to ensure a strong UW System for the future that continues our long tradition of serving students, communities and the state. - Ray Cross, UW President
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? They deserve no "gratitude", Ray, because this group of WisGOP dingbats clearly do not care about investing in one of the few items that make this state great, and increases the state's economic competitiveness, and that's the UW System. You should be standing up for your organization like UW-Madison Chancellor Becky Blank has done, and tell these dopes that this is an unacceptable outcome. Instead, you're pulling the "Thank you sirs, may I have another" routine, and allowing these bastards to screw this System yet again once the budget caves in further (and it will).

And don't give me this garbage about "it was a tough budget," and that somehow excuses these $250 million in cuts. K-12 voucher schools are getting tens of millions of added dollars in this budget, prisons are getting millions more added to their budget, and DHS expenses keep spiraling as a direct result of refusing to take the expanded Medicaid in Obamacare. There would also be hundreds of millions of dollars available if we merely stopped cutting corporate taxes for the next 2 years. This is only a "tough budget" BY THE CHOICES MADE BY SCOTT WALKER AND THE WISCONSIN GOP, and by cutting the daylights out of the UW System and funneling money away from public K-12 schools, they have chosen to handcuff this state's future. If Ray Cross had any self-respect, he wouldn't be grateful to have 1/6 of the Governor's cuts restored. Instead, he'd RESIGN and throw the middle finger at these regressive jackholes on his way out the door.


  1. All this destruction and the Milwaukee Journal's headline today is: GOP plan reduces cuts to UW System funding.
    Like the bumbper sticker claims, don't trust the mainstream media

  2. Your valuable analysis provides confirmation of how the "American state culture of corruption subsumes us; it is bureaucratic group-think...they get on board because it is not career-advancing to buck the system. It's called THE IRON CAGE (i.e., in the face of relentless pressure to conform, bureaucrats may behave irrationally if their salary's at stake)." -- Mike Lofgren, an American who is a former Republican U.S. Congressional aide. He retired in May 2011 after 28 years as a Congressional staff member on house and senate budget committee (via Wikipedia search).