It's tough to sum up an issue as complex as the New Badger Partnership in 900 words, as I tried in this week's edition of Isthmus. Here are a few points I'd like to add:
It is important for me to make one clarification. My support for the NBP is based on the idea that more money can be directed to need-based scholarships and faculty salaries.
A lot of people I've talked to are skeptical that that will pan out. Maybe they're right. But I don't understand why the concept couldn't work. We have a $1 billion endowment. Why can't we dramatically increase financial aid to low-income students? Maybe I'm too naive.
A big thing I left out of the column: The other UW schools. If the other schools want similar flexibilities, they should get them. But they are fundamentally different institutions. They don't attract the type of money that UW-Madison does and they don't attract the huge population of out-of-state students. Hence, it makes sense for them to be under a different board, that can address their needs and mission more specifically.
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