It’s odd to see the Senate being firmer on this, but it’s a good sign.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to grant the University of Wisconsin System autonomy from state oversight and laws appears to be on “life support,” although his proposed $300 million cut is unlikely to change, key Republican lawmakers said Tuesday.
Sustaining the full cut – which amounts to 13 percent of state aid the university currently receives – without getting the freedom from state oversight that UW has been seeking for years would be a worst-case scenario for university leaders.
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he didn’t see the $300 million cut changing much, putting him at odds with his fellow Republican, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and others who have said they hope to see it lowered to $200 million or less.
“I don’t see it being reduced at all where we are right now,” Fitzgerald said.
I’m still not convinced that $300 million is the right number, but I am more convinced that granting UW more autonomy is not the right way to go. It is good to see a serious debate about taxpayer funding, autonomy, tuition, and the appropriate role of the university system.