Democratic members on the Senate Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges issued this statement objecting to passage of the so-called ‘committee report’ entitled “A Wisconsin Roadmap to Success in Higher Education for the Twenty-First Century.”
“This ‘report’ was crafted without the input of committee members and does not reflect any collaborative work done between committee members or the public. Most egregiously, our shared values of accessible and affordable higher education throughout our state are directly threatened by this report’s self-declared recommendations. The report elevates the very un-Wisconsin idea of consolidating programs and shuttering UW campuses around the state, limiting access for students throughout the state.
“This unusual document was drafted by the committee chair and apparently derived from “invite-only” informational hearings. The chair did not communicate his intention to produce a report to those he invited to testify. Furthermore, committee members were only afforded 48 hours to review a 93-page report, with no notice it was coming — demonstrating contempt for ordinary professional communications and courtesy.
“The Wisconsin Idea teaches us that our UW System is meant to propel the entire state forward, reaching far beyond the confines of the classroom and improving our communities. The unique local relationships between campuses and their communities spur economic growth, local innovation, and provide strong relationships of reliance and resilience.
“Should the legislature act on these ill-advised recommendations, it will lead to a reduction in educational access, a loss of campus identity, and well as significant economic and cultural loss for many communities across the state. It is the wrong path forward.”