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Welcome to the WISCAPE Blog

Thank you for visiting our blog. We aim to provide a space for WISCAPE faculty, staff, and others to share their viewpoints on key issues and trends in postsecondary education and invite discussion with the broader community. The opinions expressed in blog posts are the authors' own and do not reflect the official views of WISCAPE.
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  • Feb 13, 2017

    Priorities for higher education in the United States

    by WISCAPE Staff
    A statement from nine directors of leading ​centers for ​higher ​education, including WISCAPE’s Clifton Conrad, which was sent to the presidential Task Force on Higher Education Reform chaired by Jerry Falwell, Jr. The document outlines seven keystone challenges facing higher education and the role of the federal government in addressing these challenges.
    Full story

  • Jan 19, 2017

    Creating a place to remember fondly

    by Harvey Long and Dr. Valyncia C. Raphael, J.D.
    In the fall of 1940, 17-year-old Frances Murphy of Baltimore, Maryland, arrived at the University of Wisconsin. She was the last of the Murphy sisters to attend: Carlita was a sophomore, and Ida had graduated in May of that year and now worked in advertising at the family newspaper, Baltimore’s Afro-American. Jim Crow had forced the sisters more than 800 miles west to study journalism, a major not offered at historically Black Morgan State College (now Morgan State University). Their father, Carl J. Murphy, a former Howard University professor and prominent newspaper editor, demanded that the state of Maryland pay full tuition, and trips home, for his daughters, since the University of Maryland, which did offer journalism, was closed to African Americans. The governor consented, and installments were paid to the ​UW.
    Full story

  • Sep 6, 2016

    Where do Wisconsin students go out of state to college?

    by WISCAPE Staff
    After reading a recent New York Times feature, “How Cuts to Public Universities Have Driven Students Out of State,” Nicholas Hillman, a WISCAPE faculty affiliate, decided to take a closer look at where Wisconsin students go when they go out of state for college.
    Full story

  • Jun 3, 2016

    Gov. Walker’s UW System public authority comment: Much ado about nothing, or something?

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    ​Summer blockbuster movies haven’t been released, many K-12 schools are still in session, the Republican and Democratic national conventions haven’t taken place, and the Green Bay Packers preseason practices haven’t begun​. However, it is not too early for speculation on Wisconsin's 2017-2019 biennial budget.
    Full story

  • Apr 22, 2016

    Issues of oversight of police on campus

    by Jason Lee, Outreach Programs Manager
    Most colleges and universities operate police departments like the ones at UW, Penn St., UC Davis, and Cincinnati. However, oversight from the larger community -- including faculty, students, and staff -- is often unclear or lacking.
    Full story

  • Feb 29, 2016

    Q&A with Alice Dreger

    by WISCAPE Staff
    In advance of her visit to UW-Madison this week, we asked Alice Dreger to share her perspective on questions of academic freedom and how to protect it. Dreger will ​present a WISCAPE talk this Friday, March 4, from 12 to 1:30 pm.
    Full story

  • Feb 23, 2016

    The arts and sciences, or STEM?

    by Johann N. Neem, WISCAPE Affiliate
    A recent, widely-read story in the New York Times, titled “A Rising Call to Promote STEM Education and Cut Liberal Arts Funding” (Feb. 21, 2016), told the now well-known story of American policy leaders offering incentives to major in the “STEM” fields, while cutting funding or offering disincentives to major in the humanities and social sciences. The most recent round of this ongoing conversation was spurred by Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin’s suggestion that tax dollars should fund "useful" degrees, not French literature.
    Full story

  • Dec 10, 2015

    Common-sense reasons to reject the proposed UW-Extension mission revision

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    UW System Resolution I.1.i, “Second Reading and Approval of the proposed UW-Extension select mission change,” will be discussed and a voted upon at the Thursday, December 10th, UW System Board of Regents Education Committee meeting. If the Education Committee approves the resolution, it will be forwarded, discussed, and voted upon at the Friday, December 11th, UW System Board of Regents meeting. The proposed revision is not an incremental change. It includes four, far-reaching changes which would fundamentally alter UW-Extension, waste scarce resources, adversely affect future relationships and collaborations with the UW System’s 26 institutions, and catalyze opposition from external stakeholders. And, surprisingly, UW System and UW-Extension leadership have ignored and/or dismissed advice, warnings, and opposition from a majority of chancellors from the UW’s regional and doctoral universities.
    Full story

  • Nov 30, 2015

    Update on academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance

    by WISCAPE Staff
    The University of Wisconsin System Tenure Task Force released its draft policies on ​faculty ​layoff and ​tenured ​faculty ​review and ​development earlier this month. This work comes on the heels of the passage of Act 55, which removed provisions for academic freedom, tenure, and much of shared governance from state statute. The Board of Regents established th​e task force to create policies for ​board consideration. The UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and UW-Whitewater chapters of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) have expressed serious concerns about the draft ​policies and their adherence to common professional standards of academic freedom, tenure, and shared governance.
    Full story

  • Oct 21, 2015

    Updated: Cuts across the UW System

    by Jason Lee, WISCAPE Outreach Programs Manager
    It’s been a tough year for the UW System. The governor signed the 2015-17 state budget on July12th. The final budget included the removal of tenure protections and a significant erosion of campus governance from state statute. It also added new provisions for laying-off faculty to state law. And of course, the UW’s budget was reduced by $250 million, with a tuition freeze for resident students remaining in effect.
    Full story

  • Oct 8, 2015

    The University of Madison?

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    UW System President Ray Cross and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank have submitted a resolution, “Waiver of Nonresident Enrollment Limit for UW-Madison,” which will be voted on at the October 8-9, 2015, UW System Board of Regents meeting. If approved, UW-Madison would be exempt from the UW System Board of Regents policy that caps enrollment of out-of-state undergraduate students at 27.5 percent (Regent Policy Document 7-3, section III). The resolution would allow UW-Madison to increase the number of nonresident domestic and international undergraduates it enrolls through 2019.
    Full story

  • Sep 28, 2015

    What happened with that presidential search in Iowa?

    by Jason Lee, WISCAPE Outreach Programs Manager
    Governors, cabinet members, and businesspeople with little or no experience in higher education have recently become public university presidents. Is this a trend or an occasional anomaly?
    Full story

  • Sep 18, 2015

    UW-Madison #116 in College Access Index… why no press release?

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    Concern about reducing income and wealth inequality in the United States (and Wisconsin) has increased exponentially since the Great Recession. Recently, the New York Times shined a light on income and wealth inequality in American public and private colleges and universities with its annual College Access Index. UW-Madison did not fare well, ranking 116 out of 179 top colleges.
    Full story

  • Sep 9, 2015

    Watch out for UW-Extension mission creep

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    At the Thursday, September 10, UW System Board of Regents Education Committee meeting, an important and controversial agenda item will be discussed: “First Reading of a Proposed Change to the UW-Extension Mission Statement” [here is the current UW-Extension select mission and here is the proposed revised UW-Extension select mission.] This proposal is controversial for at least two reasons: First, the proposed change would expand the scope of UW​-Extension from “​all Wisconsin people…” to “…people of Wisconsin and beyond…” And second, the proposed change would authorize the UW-Extension to offer “professionally-focused and cross-disciplinary competency-based certificates, associate degrees, and baccalaureate degrees in the areas of business and management,” whereas today they are not accredited and thus not authorized to offer for-credit courses and degree programs. In a period of state budget cuts to current UW-Extension programs and services, it is highly questionable to expand the select mission’s scope. Here are two reasons to table the proposed revision:
    Full story

  • Sep 3, 2015

    Thoughts on the WTCS and UW Colleges/Extension merger discussions

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    On Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at the request of Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester), a group of six Wisconsin Republican legislators held an informal, closed-door discussion about merging the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) and the University of Wisconsin Colleges and Extension. State and national media have covered the controversial news here, here, here, and here; campus, business, and state technology leaders have expressed their concerns here, here, and here; and two editorials have opined conflicting perspectives here and here. Based on other states’ efforts at merging postsecondary education systems and Wisconsin’s most recent merger effort in the 1970s, I advise the legislators and Governor Walker to consider past experiences before going any further with the merger discussions.
    Full story

  • Aug 14, 2015

    Cuts across the UW System

    by Jason Lee, WISCAPE Outreach Programs Manager
    It was a tough summer for the UW System. The governor signed the 2015-17 state budget on July 12th. The final budget included the removal of tenure protections and a significant erosion of campus governance from state statute. It also added new provisions for laying-off faculty to state statute. And of course, the UW’s budget was reduced by $250 million, with a tuition freeze for resident students remaining in effect.
    Full story

  • Jul 22, 2015

    Time for a new strategy

    by Christopher Newfield, WISCAPE Affiliate
    It’s a widely noted fact that colleges and universities are under new pressure to justify their value and function. The same is true of tenure-track faculty members, who are at the heart of the higher education system whose benefits much of society now claims to find mysterious, and whose job security is increasingly criticized.
    Full story

  • Jul 13, 2015

    UW System Budget Post-Mortem: Gov. Walker’s Vetoes

    by Noel Radomski, WISCAPE Director and Associate Researcher
    Now that Governor Walker has signed the 2015-2017 Wisconsin biennial budget, completed his 104 vetoes, and officially announced his presidential campaign, here is a list of his vetoes that will affect the UW System. Following in the footsteps of the immortal Detective Sergeant Joe Friday, “Just the facts, Ma’am,” and thus I offer no comments. More to follow.
    Full story

  • Jul 9, 2015

    What Wisconsin can learn from Louisiana’s budget debates

    by Rachel Nathanson, WISCAPE Communications Assistant
    At first glance, there seem to be a lot of similarities between Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin System and Gov. Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget cuts to the Louisiana State University System. Both states face significant budget shortfalls, with Wisconsin’s at $2.2 billion and Louisiana’s at $1.6 billion. Walker’s budget would have cut higher education funding by 13 percent, or $300 million over two years. If this sounds like a lot, consider the 82 percent cut to higher education that Louisiana would have faced. Jindal announced a $141.3 million funding decrease in his proposal, but reports attempting to account for the funding’s contingency on tax cuts and tuition increases have put the number as high as $600 million.
    Full story

  • Jun 5, 2015

    Why Wisconsin matters to you

    by Nicholas Hillman, WISCAPE Affiliate
    What happens in Wisconsin will not stay in Wisconsin. Lawmakers here are moving quickly to hollow out the definition of tenure and strip away due process rights for faculty members and academic staff. For legislators in other states who want to dismantle public higher education, they might look here to find new plays for their playbooks.
    Full story

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