Scott Walker is one of only three governors in the country without a college degree, having attended Marquette University and then dropped out in his senior year with a GPA of 2.59. But the lack of a degree per se is not necessarily cause for concern: America’s success stories include countless talented, influential, and productive citizens, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders for whom a college degree would have been truly superfluous.
Far more troubling is the fact that absolutely nowhere in Scott Walker’s campaign platform, campaign promises, policy pronouncements concerning education or his inaugural address is higher education even mentioned in passing let alone highlighted as a specific concern of his.
Taking in the whole picture, it would be easy to conclude that Scott Walker simply doesn’t care about higher education in Wisconsin and sees no particular value in continuing to fund public higher education at adequate levels at a time when he is promising sweeping spending cuts in virtually every area of state government.
A rather bleak assessment is offered by OneWisconsinNow, which noted (among other things) that:
Walker has repeatedly proven he’s not on the side of middle class and poor families when it comes to higher education. He opposed the 2009-11 state budget which protected Wisconsin students and their families from tuition increases at UW institutions, and provided additional support for low income students at all Wisconsin colleges and universities. He also opposed increasing funding for the technical college system, the front line for worker retraining efforts in our changing economy.
What is the message for us? It is this: All negotiations undertaken with Gov. Scott Walker concerning future state funding for, and management of, the University of Wisconsin, including “Biddy” Martin’s New Badger Partnership, must assume from the outset that he is, at best, fundamentally indifferent to our continued success as an institution and as a resource for Wisconsin and that he will happily toss us under the bus if and when it proves politically and/or fiscally expedient to do so.