Daniel Bush, an alumnus of both UW-Madison and UW-Oshkosh, has written a guest editorial for today’s issue of the Wisconsin State Journal:
It seems unlikely that Mr. Bush reads Sifting and Winnowing, yet he concisely and eloquently raises many of the same concerns about both the goals of the NBP, and the process by which it is being sold, that have been voiced by a variety of contributors to this page and elsewhere (e.g., Education Optimists) over the past few weeks.
In his closing remarks, he appropriately takes NBP advocates/salespersons/lobbyists to task for both their politically tone-deaf elitism and their failure to promote a healthier and more balanced discussion of UW-Madison’s options:
Why do they think so many legislators of the governor’s own party have turned against one of his major proposals? Do they really believe arguing that the other UW campuses drag Madison down is an effective message for winning statewide support?
Wisconsin needs a serious debate over the future of higher education. It involves consideration of all the options. It requires credible leaders articulating a statewide vision. And it deserves at least as much consideration as the UW System merger had four decades ago.
Unfortunately, the debate over the public authority proposal has none of these qualities.
Amen to all of the above.