The headline of the April 22 entry on the chancellor’s web site for the New Badger Partnership reads
The article refers to a letter signed by seven department chairs and three directors of schools or institutes, which it summarizes as follows:
In a letter to the co-chairs of the state Legislature’s budget-writing Joint Finance Committee, 10 department chairs and directors urged passage of public authority status for UW-Madison.
It is not known whether the ten academic leaders were speaking as individuals or whether they first polled the departments they represented. It is also not known whether this letter was spontaneously offered up by the ten individuals in question or whether it was presented to them (and presumably many, many others) with an invitation to go on record in support of the chancellor in her pursuit of the Public Authority.
What is known is that 170 departments and 20 schools and colleges are listed on the University of Wisconsin-Madison website. That means that approximately 180 UW-Madison academic leaders did not sign on to the letter in question.
So perhaps a more precise headline for the article in question might have read “5.3% of UW-Madison academic leaders back public authority.”
Regardless of whether one supports or opposes public authority, one might question the tactical wisdom of drawing attention to this letter as evidence of widespread support by UW-Madison academic leaders.