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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Big Ten Network Ramps Up PR Machine To Turn Fans Into Astroturf | Main | Minnesota I35W: Infrastructure and Republicans on the Bridge of Treason »

August 02, 2007


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I had no idea the UW System was a business and supposed to make a profit. If it truly is a 'business' as was suggested, dozens of people should have lost their jobs when tens of millions of tax payer dollars were wasted in failed IT projects. That did not happen. In addition, the thought of back-up jobs is not even a concept known, much less embraced or practiced with regularity outside of higher education. If the $1,200 less spending per student than the national average is true, UW schools must be terrible. However, my only recollection of UW system assessment by the UW itself as well as media accounts is how great it is, how respected it is, the amazing research and results being produced, and how certain schools are leaders in certain disciplines; such as UW Platteville's engineering school, etc. Could it be that necessity is in fact the mother of invention and that when given limited increases, yes increases not cuts, in state funding, the vast majority of UW system employees find ways to be more productive, more creative and more efficient while simultaneously maintaining a high quality, higher education experience? So, the argument offered is that ' . . . Republican spending on the UW System has not kept up with the commitments other states make to their universities, making Wisconsin a less competitive place in a capitalistic marketplace.' That statement and conclusion is flawed at best or simply intellectually dishonest. Measuring competitiveness by spending demonstrates the ignorance of an arm-chair ecnoomist. Again, if spending has been lagging for a decade, the system should be in tatters and have a poor reputation. But that is not the case. Enrollment should be suffering. It is not. In the past decade, new campus buildings have been constructed, some existing buildings upgraded, and programs have been added and expanded. How could they be doing this while being underfunded? Back to arm-chair economic analysis. The real marketplace thrives on increasing productivity, that is, producing the same using fewer resources or producing more using the same resources. Conversely, what seems to be suggested here is that the UW system is incapable of innovation or increases in productivity and therefore needs an accelerrated increase in funding to simply maintain the status quo. That is not how the capitalistic marketplace works, just ask any farmer or manufacturer.

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