Campus Connection: Lessons for UW-Madison

Todd Finkelmeyer has an excellent piece about the University of Virginia crisis in this week’s Capital Times. Finkelmeyer notes that while the Virginia crisis failed to attract much local attention, several UW-Madison faculty followed the situation with interest and concern:

  • Judith Burstyn, former University Committee chair and member of PROFS Steering Committee: “There is a troubling recent trend toward viewing all public institutions in market terms, where value is measured by dollars produced.”
  • Bill Tracy, former University Committee chair and president of PROFS: “(w)e do want parts of the university to run like a business. We want purchasing to run like a business. We want building management and construction to run like a business. But we should not be making academic decisions based on the bottom line. I don’t think the Department of Agronomy here generates a lot of revenue compared to, perhaps, biochemistry. But there are mission and academic reasons why we want a Department of Agronomy in Wisconsin.”
  • Grant Petty, University Committee and PROFS Steering Committee member: “There is widespread agreement in academia that the world is rapidly changing and that the political and fiscal challenges are mounting. It is widely understood that universities have to evolve, possibly in radical ways, to face these challenges. But solutions need to be formulated and implemented by those who actually understand what is and is not possible in the short term without being destructive.”