Monthly Archives: October 2014

Early Voting Ends Today

Early voting in Wisconsin ends today. Madison residents may vote at the City Clerk’s office until 7 pm tonight. More information about voting in Madison is here. Statewide information is here.

The polls will be open statewide Tuesday from 7 am to 8 pm.

Center for American Progress: Wisconsin Lags Neighbors in Higher Education Funding

The Center for American Progress released a report (below) Monday calling for a renewed social compact between states and their institutions of higher education. The report illustrates how the Great Recession resulted in a disinvestment in public higher education, directly resulting in large tuition increases.

Comparing its recommendations to those of the Truman Commission on Higher Education in 1947, the center argues the federal government should offer incentives to states that enroll students receiving Pell Grants or benefits from the G.I. Bill. In particular, states should reach out to low- and middle-income students to ensure access to higher education, while addressing the burden of student debt.

How Wisconsin Fared
The report
found from 2008 to 2012 public higher education funding per student in the state fell 18 percent, while overall higher education spending dropped 8 percent. In 2012, state funding per student in Wisconsin was $4,439, the lowest of all Midwestern states with the exception of Michigan.

 

A Great Recession, a Great Retreat: A Call for a Public College Quality Compact by Center for American Progress

Alumni Advocacy Fall Forum November 15

waa_logo_4cAlumni for Wisconsin, the advocacy group of the Wisconsin Alumni Association, will meet at the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street on Saturday, November 15. The meeting will begin three hours before the kick-off of the Wisconsin-Nebraska football game, which has not yet been announced.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank will offer her perspective on UW-Madison and the upcoming state budget process. The extension of a tuition freeze coupled with declining state support has forced UW-Madison to examine its budget priorities. This post-election meeting will be among the first conversations about how the university may fare in 2015 and beyond.

Faculty are encouraged to attend this free event. The meeting will be followed by a tailgate luncheon (reservation and fee required). More information here.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Maintaining Quality Education Requires Money

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is offering its opinion on key issues in the gubernatorial race, and K-12 and higher education is the focus of today’s editorial.

The editorial board writes that a tuition freeze is politically popular, but ultimately can harm the university:

. . . the fact is that such a continued freeze could hurt the system’s ability to attract and retain faculty. UW schools are a bargain, with average costs, and quality doesn’t come cheap.

The Journal Sentinel maintains the state should eliminate the tuition freeze while improving funding for UW System.

Early Voting Begins Today

Election_Day_voting12_5570Voters in Wisconsin may begin in-person absentee voting today, Monday, October 20. Polls in Madison will be open from 8 am until 7 pm Monday through Friday, October 20 through 24 and October 27 through 31. All balloting must be completed in the municipal clerk’s office. More information on early voting is here.

Panel Discussion on Gubernatorial Polling

The University of Wisconsin Department of Political Science is sponsoring a panel discussion on polling in the hotly-contested Wisconsin gubernatorial race at  3 pm, Monday, October 20 in the Pyle Center, 702 Langdon Street. The panel will discuss the accuracy of polls and what we can learn from them.

Panelists include:

This event, which is free and open to the public, is cosponsored by The Capital Times.

UW-Madison Professors: Keep Hands Off the GAB

Four University of Wisconsin-Madison political scientists write in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that politicians should not interfere with the management of the Government Accountability Board (GAB). Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) recently called for the removal of GAB director Kevin Kennedy, saying the board was dysfunctional and undemocratic.

PROFS Steering Committee member Donald Moynihan, Barry Burden, David Canon, and Kenneth Mayer contend the board operates independently and faces criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. They write the board is comprised of former non-partisan judges nominated by the governor and approved by a majority of the State Senate. The six-member board has the authority to remove the director if they choose.

The four professors also cite a recent journal article that found the GAB to be the country’s top model for independent election administration. According to that article, Wisconsin has the only non-partisan multi-member elections board in the country.

The full column is here.

First Gubernatorial Debate Tonight

Republican Governor Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke will face off tonight in the first of two scheduled debates. The debate, sponsored by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, will be held at 7 pm in Eau Claire. It will follow a traditional format and be moderated by former Milwaukee broadcaster Jill Geisler.

A list of radio and television stations offering live and delayed coverage is here. Livestream coverage is available on the Wisconsin Public Television and Channel 3000 websites. An archived copy of the debate will also be available on the C-SPAN website.

The second debate will be held next Friday evening in Milwaukee.

United States Supreme Court Blocks Wisconsin Voter ID Law

The United States Supreme Court ruled 6-3 last night to block implementation of Wisconsin’s voter identification law. Further action on the case is not expected until after the November election, meaning voters will not need to show identification at the polls next month.

Last month, a panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wisconsin’s law could be implemented while the court considered the constitutionality of the law. Opponents of voter identification legislation filed an emergency request to block the law with Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, the justice responsible for the Seventh Circuit. Kagan took the case to the full court, which ruled last night. The court must now decide whether or not to hear the case.

The ruling is here.

PROFS opposed this legislation.

Chancellor Blank on the 2015-17 State Biennial Budget

Chancellor Rebecca Blank offers her perspective on Wisconsin’s upcoming 2015-17 biennial budget process in her most recent Blank’s Slate blog post.

Blank writes the budget will be the primary focus of the governor and legislators in January, and UW-Madison should prepare itself for the possibility of continued cuts. The state is on track to end the year with an almost $1 billion structural deficit, and the university must compete with other high-need funding areas for limited state resources. Because the budget process is lengthy — it often stretches into June or July — the chancellor has asked deans and directors to model cuts of 2, 4, and 6 percent.

The chancellor plans to coordinate efforts with PROFS and ASPRO, the Academic Staff Professionals Organization, and will reach out to alumni and members of the business community as she makes the case for increased funding for UW-Madison with legislators.