In the midst of a perfect storm, a call to all hands on deck.

Between the new state budget, the end of collective bargaining rights for public workers, the implementation of painful new policies on fringe benefits, and the imminent departure of Chancellor Biddy Martin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison finds itself in the midst of a “perfect storm” of political, economic, and administrative challenges. As tempting as it might be to continue focusing exclusively on one’s own teaching, research, and/or support responsibilities and assume that the future of this great university is in good hands,  icebergs abound, and they demand our full attention and active participation.

There are now believed to be over a thousand (and growing) regular readers of Sifting and Winnowing, many of whom are known to be involved in campus policy and governance.   But there are fewer than a dozen regular contributors to the discussion on this page.   The ratio of contributors to readers is way too low.    The range of topics currently covered is too narrow.

In all likelihood, you have expert knowledge of some aspect of this campus, its mission, and/or its inner workings that other readers could benefit from.

In all likelihood, you know of some innovative program or service on campus, or one offered by this campus to the public,  that is either too-little known,  in need of restructuring, or endangered by looming budget cuts.

In all likelihood, you have an opinion on how to navigate the treacherous waters we now find ourselves in.

Now is the time to add your voice to the discussion of issues vital to this campus.   Please consider submitting a news or opinion piece to Sifting and Winnowing.  If it’s relevant to this campus, then it’s relevant to this page.  As always, opinions across the spectrum are welcome.

With an eye to countering the bleakness of some of the recent news, we also encourage humor and satire.

Proposals or initial submissions can be made by sending email to   Pieces may be posted either with or without attribution at your request.  Contributions may be minimally edited for formatting or clarity.  But to date, no submission has been turned down.

If you can’t submit a top-level article on a subject that interests you, then please at least consider participating in the discussion via the comments sections.

Thank you for helping to sustain the cherished sifting and winnowing tradition of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

– The Editors


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