UW system leaders hope that the deep cuts to state employee benefits Gov. Walker proposed today will create more support for a plan to give the university more autonomy from the state, including allowing UW to set higher tuition rates and pay professors more. In a letter to UW employees, UW System President Kevin Reilly made clear that pursuing a new course for the university is a higher priority than fighting Walker over state aid.
Thesereductionsmaybejustifiedbythehistoriceconomicdownturn,butthatdoesnotchangethefact thatUWcampusesenteredthisrecessioninatrailingposit on,unabletooffertotalcompensation packagescomparabletoourpeeruniversities.
It'stimetochangethewaythatWisconsin'spublicunivers tiescompetefortalentinacompetitive nationalandglobalmarketplace.Webelievethatuniversitiesfreedfromoutdatedlawsandregulations willgrowstronger,whilethosethatremainoverlyconstrainedwillfallfurtherbehind.
This is a far cry from the departing message of former UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley, who penned a column two and a half years ago decrying the anti-tax rhetoric that fueled reductions in state funding to UW.