For non-UW readers, we heard yesterday that state workers can expect to be furloughed for 8 working days per year for the next two years. Of course faculty won't start canceling classes or anything, so it's just a temporary pay cut. It doesn't seem like it'll save that much money with a ca. 7 billion dollar deficit (on a ca. 20 billion budget!), so that as a still-active colleague quipped yesterday, the most likely concrete effect will be to kill all morale among all state workers. Oh, and they revoked the promised 2% pay increase too!
But everybody with a wisc.edu account has been flooded today with announcements that the Madison Initiative passed the Board of Regents (and see here for a local news take). The lone dissent was a student member of the Board, who …
wondered if the initiative was nothing more than a short-term fix for long-term funding problems that are dogging higher education.Well, yeah. It's not going to fix the real problems and everybody knows that. This shows something pretty remarkable though: After years of a really ineffective chancellor, we have somebody in that office now with the brains and energy to make something happen. Biddy Martin is still probably figuring out the layout of Bascom Hall and she's made a real impact on things. That gives us some hope that we'll win some coming battles.
In the meantime, I'm ready for a beer.