Two Views on UW Flexibility

Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel offers two editorials about granting UW System increased management flexibilities. First, the Journal Sentinel’s editorial board argues that UW campuses deserve more autonomy and should be given more control over their finances and building projects:

The universities should have more room to set their own tuition, do their own purchasing, make their own travel plans and develop their own buildings. Greater autonomy would lead to greater efficiency and probably save money in the process.

Representative Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater) takes a different position. He argues that the 2011-13 budget, which capped tuition at 5.5 percent and included accountability measures for UW System, did not go far enough. Nass writes that the 2013-15 budget should include a 4 percent tuition cap and consequences for the university if it does achieve its accountability goals:

The UW System was created in the 1970s. Its internal governance and operational structures appear stuck in the disco era. While the leadership of the UW System annually pledges internal reform and modernization, the families of Wisconsin are today confronted with 26 campuses still dominated by an ivory tower bureaucracy that resists real accountability, either to taxpayers or tuition-paying families.