I read the other day that some state legislators, Republicans included, are expressing doubts about Gov. Walker's notion to allow the split of UW-Madison from the UW System. Splitting from the System is something UW Chancellor Biddy Martin wants to do too, but you'd have to expect for entirely different reasons, considering the presumable philosophical chasm between the governor and the chancellor.
I won't speculate on either of their motives. From what I've been able to gather from what the two have rather inarticulately expressed, it has something to do with "compatibility." After all, things weren't always the way they are now; historically, the University of Wisconsin and the State University system were separate for decades, for much longer, in fact, than they've been joined.
When you drive through the campus area, down, say, University Avenue, you get an inkling of the university's massiveness. If you wander off to the side anywhere along the avenue, such as when you're looking for the new Union South, you can be overwhelmed by the size and density of the institution. No offense to other colleges and universities in the state, but the UW is playing in a whole different league.
Is that an argument for separation? Not necessarily; I'll let the state legislators decide that in their wisdom (!?). As for the new Union South, Jennifer A. Smith takes us on a tour in her article "Union South Gets It Right." You could take your own tour - as a matter of fact, perusing Union South and the new Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, right nearby, might make a nice day trip for folks within driving distance.
Considering the mistake nowhere near the lake that was the former Union South, the new building looks to have a much brighter future than its short-lived predecessor. And it provides prospective students and their parents with one more "wow 'em" attraction. Makes you sort of wonder, "Where can I sign up?"