Monday, February 14, 2011

What is going on in Wisconsin?

Some *serious* misery may be in store for academics at Wisconsin public schools (K-PhD). The governor has proposed some significant benefit cuts.

And he is apparently not afraid to call in the National Guard if proffies get bent out of shape about it.,0,771747.story


  1. Yes, we are organizing like fucking crazy here. This will not be allowed to stand. RISE UP!

  2. I was going to post on this. Over the weekend I was at a conference in Madison and there is a full-scale war going on there. I had maybe 12 different people tell me about it. I have a friend at Whitewater who just started a program there and is losing her shit about this.

    Imagine paying for tuition every semester of grad school. Four, five, eight, ten years of tuition. Their governor is threatening to cancel tuition remissions.

    He's also hoping the grad students, TAs, RAs, and lecturers can hop on the student insurance instead of the payed employee insurance.

    So basically, grad students have 1/3 chance of being hired any given semester, and if they are lucky enough to land a job, it comes with only $4000 for teaching and a $12000 tuition bill and a $2000 health care bill (or so I was told).

    I really admire Wisconsin. In my discipline, it's one of the top-tier schools. It pops up all over the place. I went to a national conference once where a cohort of 8 Wisconsin people were there. My colleagues called it the "Madison Mafia." And they were good.

    But I think the people I spoke to are right: if these measures pass, no one will ever go to Wisconsin again. The profs will find jobs elsewhere. And Wisconsin will lose grant money, federal funding, prestige.

    It's crazy town.

  3. Ugh, I am so sad, because a student of mine just accepted an offer from the Wisconsin system, which up till now has seemed to be a great one.

  4. The numbers AM provides sound like the kiss of death for grad programs -- and then how will they cover the undergrad classes traditionally covered by TAs and the like? Adjuncts, I suppose. Way to dismantle a higher ed system.

  5. I was just doing some research to corroborate my second-hand information, and I came across this quote:

    "Lost in Walker's moves is how terrorizing thousands of employees will demonstrate "Wisconsin is open for business", the slogan his handlers devised to signal the state was up for sale."

  6. Sounds like Walker might soon be feeling some kinship with Mubarak. I hope the legislature pays attention if he won't.

  7. This is pretty much the "Revenge of the 1990s Republicans"; strip out anything in government that isn't the police or the military, and then outsource those guys to private contractors. It's stupid and self-defeating, but this was what Grover Norquist wanted in the 1990s, "government so small you could drown it in the bathtub."

  8. I'd like to see the national guard try to teach some freaking Shakespeare. Tjis gov is a bastard.

  9. Excuse me. "This" gov. Sheesh. I'm so thankful for my recent rejection for a job in the UW system. I have several newly tenured friends in the UW system, though. They are losing it.


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