Saturday, October 07, 2006

Walsh & Regents Speak from Their Planet

It's clear that David Walsh and his merry band of Regents at UW cannot control themselves, much less the bazillion-dollar-budgeted UW system.

But just in case you didn't get the picture, David extends his middle finger again:

In a move that further damaged its rocky relationship with the state Legislature, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents passed a resolution Friday opposing the proposed constitutional amendment on gay marriage, saying it was the right move no matter what the political consequences were.

[Said] Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), a sponsor of the amendment, which would ban gay marriage. "It's becoming more and more difficult for legislators to relate to this group. ...He added, "It's curious that 30 days before the election, the regents have decided to get political."

No, it's not "curious," Scott. It is unprofessional and craven. But not curious.

The Regents chose to believe the fantasy-world lies (also Homosexual Propaganda) about The Amendment's second sentence:

They said the second sentence of the amendment, up for a vote in the November election, could prevent the [UW] system from offering such benefits.

The sentence, which says, "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state," has become the primary focus of debate over the amendment.

Advocates say it is intended to prevent same-sex couples seeking civil unions or domestic partner benefits from receiving the same level of rights, benefits and recognition as heterosexual married couples. They say the amendment would allow for limited benefits for same-sex couples.

Kentucky passed an amendment with identical wording. In July, the University of Louisville board voted to give domestic partnership benefits to people in unmarried relationships.

"If they were concerned the amendment would prevent domestic partner benefits, why would they have passed that?" said Julaine Appling, president of Vote Yes for Marriage, which is pushing the amendment.

"The second sentence of the amendment is so you can't have something coming in masquerading as marriage, where it looks like marriage, has all the obligations and rights that come along with it."

The regents voted on the resolution after hearing members of the business community talk about the importance of domestic partner benefits.

"If you look at retailers, they're offering these benefits," said Mary Ann Reichling, director of benefits and compensation at Lands' End.

Carrie Madson, human resources vice president at Foot, said they "were a great benefit for attracting and retaining" workers.

The bennies at Lands' End and FootLocker were voluntarily afforded by private-sector employers. This will NOT change under the terms of The Amendment.

[Scott] Fitzgerald, co-chairman of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, said there would be no domestic partner benefits for state employees as long as the current legislative leadership remains in control.

Which is to say that the current leadership understands that 'there are some things with which the taxpayer will not put up.'


Anonymous said...

Wisconsin is the only Big Ten school which can't offer domestic partner benefits. Earlier this year an engineering researcher who earned $5 million in federal research money since 2000 left because of it.

The current policy is folly.

Dad29 said...

Matter of fact, the JS story covers that:

The departure of Rob Carpick was a financial hit to UW-Madison. He had generated $3.4 million in external grants since joining the university in 2000.

You only over-estimated by 50%.

Maybe you're a Regent?

It will be extremely difficult for Legislators to tax Wisconsin citizens to support "partner" benefits--which will not ONLY apply to same-sex couples, of course, but to ALL live-ins. (Equal treatment, remember?)

Especially since the Regents, under Doyle, have raised UW-system tuitions considerably, and at the same time, LOWERED out-state tuitions.

Face it. The Regents have f*&^%d this up to a fare-thee-well.

Anonymous said...

You are the master of the half-truth, or perhaps the quarter-truth.

Tuition went up because the Governor and Legislature slashed state aid. Yes, the Governor proposed it, but the legislators went along like sheep. I give a demerit to both on this point

Out of state tuition subsidizes the education of two in-state students because nonresident tuition is set at three times the cost of providing it. This means that every nonresident who pays tuition subsidizes two residents.

If you take more resident students, one of two things occurs: the quality goes down or tuition goes up. As between the two, I would vote for increasing tuition.

This isn't an issue for the flagship campus, because it has no trouble attracting non-residents to subsidize the in-state students, but it is trouble big time for the former teacher colleges.

The last time a Republican legislature went ran a know-nothing campaign against the University of Wisconsin was in the 1969 session, and you may recall what happened in the 1970 election. Then again, you may not.

Dad29 said...

The UW-system's financial picture is askew, and I'll grant you that the politicians on BOTH sides have screwed it up.

For example, Tommy Thompson's compulsion to build more campi has been a financial disaster--except for Tommy's Ass'n of Gen'l Contractors contributors. (Yes, I know--and I think he was corrupt.)

We should start by closing at least one campus, and likely 3. THEN we should raise the standards for entrance, PC-be-damned.

THEN we should audit administrative management for functional efficiency and competence, and start consolidating as well as dumping idiots into Lake Mendota.

THEN we should examine the professoriate by the same standards, and do the same.

Anonymous said...

You would have made a "great" member of the 1969 Wisconsin Assembly, which was led red-aiters Harold Froelich, Kenny Merkel, John Shabaz, and others of their ilk. They had a committee to investigate "communism" on the Madison campus.

You really don't know what you are talking about when you speak of Tommy "building" campuses. There hasn't been a new four-year campus opened since the 1960's (don't know if the last one built was Parkside or Green Bay). Maybe you could merge the administration of Stout, Eau Claire, and River Falls, but there isn't a politician in the legislature who could lead a successful effort to actually close one of these schools.

The better idea is to let Madison free from the shackles of the system. Right now private contributions (i.e. gifts) and competitively-awarded grants (both federal and private) make up a much larger portion of the budget than the state's contribution.

While we're at it, let's give Madison back its name. It was The University of Wisconsin from the day it opened until merger in the early 1970's. There is a reason, of course, that Platteville, Oshkosh, and the other backwater campuses wanted to be known as University of Wisconsin-Backwater and that the name of the Madison campus wasn't changed to "Wisconsin State University-Madison"...

The Madison campus has done quite well even inspite of the meddling by the idiots in the Legislature. Scientific research there is on an upward path and the amount of competitively-won federal grants is at an all time high. If only we had a legislature worthy of the quality of the institution.

Dad29 said...

Parkside, 1968: Warren Knowles

Regardless of "political strength," somebody has to close some of these schools. There's no reason for them unless you buy the line of crap that "a degree is necessary to have a life."

Anonymous said...

Apparently you don't have a college degree? As Bill Gates' life experience points out, it isn't necessary to have the sheepskin to be a success in life, but you're no Bill Gatess...

Dad29 said...

That's not the case.

The State's employers are now facing a shortage of individuals who can/are willing to work in manufacturing--welders, machinists, etc.

Reason? People with a degree won't do that work.

At the same time, we see plenty of people with degrees who cannot assemble a sentence, nor spell half the words therein.

So we've overeducated many who could be productive in industry...

And industry seeks to relocate, at least partly to find the workers.