Friday, December 23, 2011

Is Walker Going After UW Again?

I have had some disturbing information forwarded to me this evening, which I believe will require close monitoring from the people of #wiunion and the media.

The following is part of an email which was forwarded to me dealing with possible massive cuts in funding to the UW system (emphasis theirs):
We have just learned that Governor Walker will send his lapse message to the Joint Finance Committee this Friday, December 23, 2011. If the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) doesn’t act by January 3, the UW System will face a $65 million budget cut on top of the $250 million cut that we received in the budget. This will be the biggest cut in UW history.

Now is the time to act. President Reilly has asked all UW System employees to call or email your legislator and ask them in your own words to help the UW System in any way they can. We can’t stop the whole lapse, but even a small reduction would help.
A second email indicated that the JFC would not be meeting over the holidays and that the "UW System" does not believe anything official would happen over the holiday season.

I wouldn't be so sure. As Milwaukee County Executive, it was not uncommon for Scott Walker to declare a "fiscal emergency" even when there wasn't one, in order to unilaterally pull whatever shenanigans he had in mind. He was further enabled to do so by a very slanted media in Milwaukee who would repeat his nonsense unquestioningly and ignore the unions and the liberal members of the board who were crying foul.

As governor, he might not even have to take the step of declaring any sort of emergency, since he has a rubber stamp legislature controlled by the Republicans, who are as corrupt as he is. He could just order something to be done and his cronies in the legislature would turn a blind eye to it. Furthermore, while he cannot hide all of his chicanery from all of the state's media, it is my personal opinion that even the most diligent reporters don't fully appreciate the level of skulduggery and chicanery of which Walker is capable.

The following is a set of lists, which were in the emails, of the impact that that the UW ssytem could feel if this action is allowed to happen:
12 ways the lapse could hurt everyone served by UW-Extension
1. Program staff who support education for small business and entrepreneurs may be laid off, which will reduce the ability to develop needed programs and make it harder for small businesses to create jobs.
2. Small business development centers may not be able to hire the counselors they need to help small business and entrepreneurs grow jobs.
3. Small business development centers may have to reduce their programs for small business and classes for entrepreneurs.
4. Continuing education outreach efforts may be curtailed, which will mean fewer degrees awarded in Wisconsin and fewer opportunities for nontraditional and minority students to get an education. This has been a key strategy to improving Wisconsin’s economic competitiveness.
5. The development of online and technology based instruction will be delayed. These programs prepare students for high demand jobs in the emerging economy.
6. UW-Extension county office staff positions will be left vacant, which reduces service to agriculture, families and local governments.
7. There may be more use of short term UW-Extension staff in multiple-county coverage, which will reduce their availability to serve local needs.
8. Cuts funding for researchers and faculty at UW campuses, which will delay research needed by Wisconsin agriculture and business to stay competitive.
9. Delays needed equipment and software maintenance at Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio, which may result in reduced reliability.
10. The provision of statewide video conferencing services will be slowed, which may result in higher costs for travel and staff time.
11. Web development positions will be left vacant, which will delay online programming development that is important to younger audiences.
12. Wisconsin Public Television will delay the launch of the successor program to In Wisconsin which was recently discontinued. Other programming will also be deferred.

12 ways the lapse could hurt everyone served by UW Colleges
1. Class sections may be cut, which could make it more difficult for students to complete their course requirements. Students would face a longer time in school, higher costs and higher risk of dropping out.
2. Reduced tutoring services would damage student learning and retention.
3. Cutting library acquisitions of periodicals and online databases would cause long-term harm to the ability of teachers to teach and students to learn.
4. Technology infrastructure upgrades to the telephone system and network servers would be delayed, resulting in a backlog of work and higher costs in the future.
5. Technology upgrades in student computer labs and the library would be postponed, reducing student access to technology-based learning and possible higher costs to catch up in the future.
6. Hiring of academic support positions could be delayed. This would damage recruitment and retention efforts, and would inevitably affect enrollment.
7. Professional development funding for faculty could be cut, which would make it more difficult to retain faculty because we cannot reinvest in their professional and technical knowledge.
8. Needed laboratory modernization would be cut or delayed. Delaying replacement of laboratory technology and equipment hurts student learning opportunities and stifles innovation.
9. Development of high-demand new courses, such as GIS (geographical information system), would be delayed. GIS is a high-demand area and the course is needed to serve students and employers.
10. Campus newspapers could be eliminated, closing off an important area of learning, instruction, and employment for students.
11. Needed student services and custodian positions would remain unfilled, thus reducing services to students.
12. New course development would be delayed. Course development helps keep up with innovation, meets evolving student needs, and responds to local demands.

1 comment:

  1. This is no surprise. Walker thinks too many Wisconsin folk can sign their name!