Today I’m presenting a master list of high quality commentary and analysis on what has been going on in the University of Wisconsin system over the last several months, particularly around the merger of the UW Colleges and the extensive program cuts at UW-Superior and UW-Stevens Point.
- UW Dismantle Blog https://uwdismantle.wordpress.com
Read every post. This is the best analysis based in the region, meaning not only Wisconsin, but especially the rural parts of Wisconsin understood to be disproportionately affected by these cuts. This is also some of the only writing about the UW Colleges merger specifically (which has all the hallmarks of a disaster for students and faculty alike).
- Christopher Newfield’s 2 part analysis on UW-Stevens Point
Newfield is a prominent scholar who has written several books about public higher education (unlike the Provost at UWSP). These posts reflect Newfield’s broad, nuanced understanding of the larger trends in the public university sector, and are helpful for sharpening our understanding what is really happening here. Newfield has carefully sifted through the data on the ground at UWSP and presents that here too; useful for debunking some claims. There are many echoes to the situation at UW-Superior, and I think an analysis that included more of the UW system would shift Newfield’s conclusions, but that is a topic for another blog post.
- UW Milwaukee AAUP chapter
Clear, concise explanation of why liberal arts education is obviously necessary for today’s technological environment.
- Language Politics – AFT and AAUP member Nicholas Fleisher
An excellent description of the system-wide context for the cuts that have been made (so far). If you haven’t been following the changes to higher ed over the years since 2011, follow the links and read all the posts in the UW category. Fleisher is a relatively infrequent blogger but each post is a fairly comprehensive summary of how we got to this point.
- AAUP Wisconsin student solidarity statement
In case you missed it, students went to Madison last week on April 18 to confront the Regents and State Legislators for a Save Our Majors Rally. This solidarity statement explains pretty well why.
- And finally, an editorial from a professor of political science at UW-River Falls explaining what most professors should already know, which is that actually, most majors don’t lead directly jobs:
I am a sociologist, and we are fond of saying that our discipline does not give us the tools to read the future. That being said, if I was the kind of person who made bets, I would be willing to place money on the fact that we will soon see another announcement of deep program cuts to another UW campus, made in the absence of faculty, student, and community input. Too much groundwork has already been laid for this to be the end of it. I think it will be important to be informed about what the situation is in Superior, at Stevens Point, at the Colleges, and throughout the UW system, as these cuts continue to roll forward.