The Wisconsin Idea in Peril


The Wisconsin Idea in Peril

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12:15 @ Wisconsin Idea Plaque

East Side of Mitchell Hall

Tuesday, November 1


At this time of year, it is the customary to remember those people we have lost. On November 1 members of the AAUP will be gathering on their respective campuses across the state to recognize not only the people but the principles that are departing from the University of Wisconsin System.


Over the past year we have lost dozens of colleagues to other universities. They were driven away when their confidence in the state’s commitment to higher education evaporated along with tenure protections, taxpayer funding, and shared governance.


We are quickly coming to the end of an era in which inquiry and the pursuit of truth are the driving force behind Wisconsin higher education. We are entering an era in which economic utility, rather than public good, is the sole motivating principle.


We are fortunate to have signs all around to remind us of Wisconsin’s commitment to, and benefit from, higher education. The innovations and services provided by University of Wisconsin campuses are beacons of educational impact in every corner of the state. On our campuses we also have signs to remind us of the all too fragile principles that have enabled our fearless sifting and winnowing.


It is not too late for Wisconsin’s public officials to heed the signs and restore the principles that made our state a leader in countless fields.