Sunday, February 5, 2012

One year later, a reasoned take on flexibility

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a right-on-the-money editorial about the ongoing debate about flexibilities for the UW System almost one year after the height of the New Badger Partnership debate.

We’re about to re-enter this entire debate on Wednesday. I think the JS editorial misses one important nuance of the political implications of the renewal. 

In the past, Gov. Scott Walker has supported such reform; we urge him and the Department of Administration to do so now.

I doubt this will happen. Why would Walker rehash a year-old political third rail that was a rare point of division within his own party — especially when he’s in the midst of possible scandal and a recall election? 

Yes, the flexibility needs to happen, but it’s highly unlikely it will happen anytime soon. If Walker wins the recall, he’ll have the political capital to coax Rep. Steve Nass to embrace proposed changes to the System. The changes will need to differ from the 2011 proposals, too. If a Democrat (still crossing my fingers for a Peter Barca candidacy) wins, the debate over NBP-esque reform might change from the “make UW run like a business” conversation we’ve been having to a campaign to give higher education the power it deserves.


  1. madwonk posted this