Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Tag: University of Wisconsin Madison

UW-Madison Refuses to Accommodate Blind Professor

Good for UW. Organizations should do everything they can to accommodate people with disabilities to do the job. But in this case, it isn’t about her disability. She is demanding that students receive an inferior education to appease her irrational fears. She’s no longer cut out for the job and UW should get someone who is. The University doesn’t exist for the professors.

A blind UW-Madison professor requested to teach online this fall semester. She had the support of her department, documentation from her doctor and a long history of receiving disability accommodations from the university.


UW-Madison instead offered English professor Elizabeth Bearden an N95 mask to wear while teaching.


“It was just so heartbreaking,” she said. “I feel betrayed by my institution.”


The accommodation, she said, didn’t address her concerns about being unable to tell whether students were following the campus mask mandate nor alleviate her fears about an infection leading to a loss of taste or smell, which the blind rely on more than those with all five senses.

Declining to risk her health, Bearden spent the semester on medical leave, earning 60% of her salary. She also filed a discrimination complaint last month with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging UW-Madison violated her rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

UW-Madison Is Increasingly For Out-of-State Students


Wisconsin residents make up a bare majority of freshmen at UW-Madison this year, the smallest percentage of in-state students the university has enrolled in at least 25 years.

The incoming class includes a record-breaking 7,550 students, 50.3% of whom are from Wisconsin.

That’s a 3.1-percentage-point drop from last year’s incoming class and an even steeper decline since the late 1990s and early 2000s, when two out of every three freshmen were Wisconsin residents, according to a Wisconsin State Journal analysis of enrollment reports.

UW Madison to Subsidize Middle and Low Income Students

This is nice.

UW-Madison officials say they will cover tuition and fee costs for Wisconsin students from families with incomes below the state median, a move they say shows all state residents that an education at the state’s flagship campus is within reach.

The plan, dubbed “Bucky’s Tuition Promise,” was unveiled at a University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

It pledges to cover four year’s tuition and certain fees for all in-state students who are accepted to the university and come from families with a yearly household income of $56,000 or less. University officials say that amount is roughly the median family income in Wisconsin.

UW-Madison officials stressed the plan will not trigger financial aid reductions elsewhere and is not funded with taxpayer dollars.

Rather, they said the anticipated cost — about $3 million a year when fully phased in — will be paid by private donations and other revenue sources such as licensing royalties.

UW Madison to Accept Food Stamps


MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Madison now accepts food stamps as payment for eligible items at one of its campus convenience stores after student campaigns urging the school to do so to alleviate food insecurity.

Users of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, can buy federally eligible grocery items at the Flamingo Run store located within the Gordon Dining & Event center.

Hate at UW Madison

This is not art. This is just raw, bigoted hate.

MADISON, Wis. – A University of Wisconsin-Madison student released a controversial video portraying police officers being beheaded after they put an American flag noose around the neck of an African American man Friday.

Part of the First Wave scholarship program, Eneale Pickett, released the video to promote his clothing line with messages addressing police brutality and racism. In the video people wear sweatshirts that make statements about these issues.


The video portrays the police officer as a man in a pig mask. The sound of the video combines speeches from Donald Trump, with the sounds of protests and a consistent heart beat.

If you;d like to learn more about the First Wave Scholarship Program, here is their website.

UW’s Blank Opposes Civil Rights on Campus

It’s like watching someone opposing integrated schools in 1965. So far behind the times… So rooted in irrational bigotry…

“We remain absolutely opposed to any changes that would weaken the current prohibition on concealed weapons in campus buildings,” Blank said in a statement.

“Many parents would have concerns about sending their children to a campus that may have guns in dorm rooms or at football games,”

I love how in the same story about Blank’s concerns that parents “would have” concerns about sending their kids to UW if there was campus carry, there is narry a word about sending kids to a campus where this is celebrated:

Student activists plan to pass out plastic dildos on campus, emulating the University of Texas at Austin’s “Cocks Not Glocks” campaign.

UW Approves Sexual Violence Training


University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross has approved sexual violence prevention training for all students and employees as part of a more comprehensive policy on sexual violence and harassment across the system’s campuses.

Here’s what I don’t like about this… it is expensive training that is a complete waste of time and money for the vast majority of the people forced to take it. Most people adhere to the norms of society and abide by the law. They don’t need to be told – again – to not rape people.

But here’s the real reason:

UW-Madison and UW-Whitewater have been under investigation by the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S Department of Education for officials’ handling of sexual assault complaints.

So because the UW administration is terrible at handling sexual assault complaints, everyone has to take training. Get it? That way they can claim to be “doing something.”
And the taxpayers and students keep paying more and more…

UW Advocates For Illegal Aliens

Frankly, I don’t want my tax dollars going to support organizations that flagrantly violate the law.

It stops short of advocating that UW-Madison declare itself a sanctuary campus for undocumented students in the wake of Donald Trump’s election as president, but a resolution up for a vote by faculty Monday calls for the continuation of President Obama’s policies that allows some undocumented students to legally attend college.

UW Intolerance

UW Madison has to be one of the most intolerant places in America for different perspectives. Check out some of the video from MacIver.

Protesters at UW-Madison chanted and tried to block the stage at a speech by conservative Ben Shapiro on Wednesday on the UW-Madison campus, but ultimately Shapiro was able to deliver his remarks to a crowd of about 500 attendees.

The speech, entitled “Facts Don’t Care About Your Feelings,” was met with chants of “safety” and accusations that the speech itself was “violence” and made the demonstrators feel unsafe. Protesters moved to the front of the room and tried to block the view of Shapiro, who hundreds of students and members of the general public had come to hear deliver his remarks against safe spaces and speech codes.

The crowd waited the protesters out, but at times attendees yelled at the protesters to allow Shapiro to speak, breaking out in their own chants of “USA,” “Free Speech Matters,” and “decency.” Ultimately, the protesters retrenched to an adjoining hallway, where they continued their chants.

UW Faculty Does Not Have Any Confidence in Leadership

I agree with them.

Professors at UW-Madison declared Monday that they have no confidence in the leaders of the University of Wisconsin System…

But probably for different reasons…

…to uphold their cherished outreach mission in the wake of budget cuts and changes to tenure policies that weakened faculty protections.

The UW-Madison Faculty Senate approved the no confidence resolution, which lays out a litany of problems that professors have with the work of UW System President Ray Cross and the system’s Board of Regents over the past year, after more than an hour and a half of debate.

The resolution primarily focuses on new tenure policies the Regents approved this spring, arguing those changes threaten professors’ ability to pursue “risky or controversial” research that could benefit students and the state as a whole. It ends by stating professors have no confidence in Cross and the Regents to defend the UW System’s mission of benefiting the public, known as the Wisconsin Idea, and calling on them to “recommit” to strengthening public universities with adequate state funding.

Blank Won’t Layoff Tenured Faculty

That’s a bit of a blanket statement.

UW-Madison chancellor Rebecca Blank said Friday that the university won’t lay off tenured faculty so long as it remains a leading research school.

“Top-ranked universities always take care of their tenured faculty,” Blank said in a blog post. “As long as this university is a top-ranked institution we will behave like other top-ranked universities. That means we don’t layoff tenured faculty. Period.”

Blank published the post after a monthslong battle over the future of tenure at the state’s flagship institution came to a close Friday when the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a new policy for faculty layoffs on the campus.

Nowhere in that statement did she mention educating kids. That is no longer a priority at UW Madison. That’s OK, but it’s important to remember their priority when debating policy and the taxpayers’ obligations to it.

Even as it is, the commitment to never layoff tenured faculty is far too absolute to be good management. What that statement means is that she is willing to watch the university burn to the ground around her before she lays off a single tenured faculty member – to hell with all of the other stakeholders.

Let’s hope that Chancellor Blank is just engaging in a bit of hyperbole to soothe a skittish staff and that she doesn’t actually mean what she said.

UW Madison Faculty Votes to Make it Hard to Fire Faculty

Of course they did.

Under the new policy, tenured professors can be terminated only for just cause, or if their department is being discontinued because of financial exigency or “educational considerations.” It defines educational considerations as “long-range judgments,” voted on by faculty, “that the educational mission of the institution as a whole will be enhanced by a program’s discontinuance.”

That is a narrower set of justifications than the language in the state budget, which allows for professors to be fired in the event their program is discontinued, curtailed, modified or redirected. If any of those changes were to occur, the policy states, administrators would have to place faculty in a position at the same rank in another department.

Protections like these go far beyond what is necessary to preserve academic freedom. They are just blunt protectionism. Unfortunately, they don’t have to pay for protecting useless departments and bad teachers. The taxpayers and the students do.

UW Madison Wants to Lift Enrollment Cap for Out-of-State Students


Flagship universities across the country for years have been backfilling lost state funding by boosting the number of higher paying students they accept — and aggressively recruit — from other states and countries.

Out-of-state and international students now make up at least 40% of the freshman class at flagship universities in 18 states — up from 10 states in 2000, according to Stephen Burd, a senior policy analyst with New America’s Education Policy Program who questions whether public universities are becoming bastions of privilege.

hThe University of Wisconsin-Madison hopes to boost its numbers if a proposal to lift its 27.5% cap on nonresident undergraduate enrollment through 2020 gains approval from a UW System Board of Regents committee Thursday, and the full board Friday.

The proposal, which UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says could help boost the state’s workforce along with the flagship’s bottom line, would still guarantee at least 3,500 seats to Wisconsin freshmen each year. That guarantee already is in place, and freshman classes have included more than 3,600 Wisconsin residents each of the past three years.

This is a pretty simple issue, but it is directly linked to the mission of the university. UW wants to lift the cap because they want more money. Out-of-state students pay the full freight and UW makes a bundle on them. The noise from Blank about it “boost(ing) the state’s workforce” is political cover because the vast majority of these kids leave the state after graduation.

The problem is that the more seats that are opened up for out-of-state students, the more in-state students will be squeezed out of the state’s flagship university. That detracts from the mission of a state university to serve Wisconsin’s kids.

So this question is not really about the cap on out-of-state students. It’s about the mission of UW Madison. If we want UW Madison’s focus to be on being the research and economic engine that it has become, then lifting the cap makes sense. If we want UW Madison to be a top-notch educational choice for as many Wisconsin citizens as possible, the lifting the cap would erode that mission.



Pin It on Pinterest