Wisconsin used to take pride in its university system supported by a bipartisan consensus to create a world-class educational facility.
Now, under the leadership of the GOP-led state Assembly, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and its sister campuses are under assault, deadly assault.
From the blog Waxing America:
(T)he best of intentions cannot undo the damage of a hostile legislature, attacks on academic freedom, a refusal to provide benefits to partners, and a general nastiness led by the Assembly Republican leadership.
All of which has now received prominent notice in the latest issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education:
The problem is money. Wisconsin’s stagnating state higher-education budget has forced the university to keep faculty salaries far below average. When professors get feelers from elsewhere, they learn that a move can easily mean a whopping 100-percent salary increase — sometimes more…
…As the faculty pay gap between public and private institutions widens nationwide, lots of public universities are having a hard time competing. But Madison is having particular problems, losing faculty members not only to well-off private institutions, like Chicago, but also to lower-ranked public universities. In the past few years, professors in a variety of disciplines have left Madison for Arizona State, Florida State, and Rutgers Universities and the University of Minnesota, among others.
As the article notes, the UW is at the bottom in average salary ranking of the twelve universities that are in its peer group. In addition, every time a faculty member leaves there is the additional cost of recruiting and finding a replacement. That can be as much as 25% of the annual salary.
How not to grow a state’s economy.