You probably have noticed a marked drop-off of production here on the Soapbox. Well, aside from having to keep functioning in doing my day job of educating Milwaukee's north-side high schoolers, I also have been fighting the good fight on the ground with trying to prevent the takeover of MPS. This has meant multiple meetings with members of the Milwaukee Teachers Educators Association, school board meetings, and rallies with allies surrounding buildings.
I have an awful lot to write about, but just not the amount of time I would like. You know, I also would like to try and keep some semblance of sanity by maintaining and building friendships with people. However, I need to give a shout-out to the UW Colleges, who will have their day in the Joint Finance Committee tomorrow along with the rest of the UW System.
I would first like to direct you to THIS which comes directly from UW Madison's WISCAPE and explains how perilous the situation is for the UWC:
Of all the UW System institutions, the proposed budget cuts would have a disproportionate impact on the UW Colleges, because their reserves are significantly lower than those of other UW institutions -- in fact most have zero reserves. The UW Colleges had already made cuts after the last biennial budget; have been instituting tuition freezes longer than other UW System institutions; and are the most dependent on enrollment, tuition, and state support.
However, so is THIS from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel which deals with an impending "No-Confidence" vote by staff against new chancellor Cathy Sandeen:
In a rare sign of the depth of frustration at the University of Wisconsin Colleges, tenured and untenured faculty on all 13 campuses this week are being asked to consider a no-confidence vote against Chancellor Cathy Sandeen — less than six months into her tenure.
The symbolic vote is the result of decisions the UW Colleges leader put into motion in anticipation of large state funding cuts.
Those decisions involve regionalizing, standardizing and centralizing student support services and other administrative functions at the state's public two-year campuses. Layoffs are expected in mid-August.
The Legislature's budget-writing Joint Finance Committee will decide the extent of cuts for the UW System — including UW Colleges — on Friday or Saturday. A referendum called by faculty leaders to consider a vote of no-confidence in Sandeen is to wrap up on campuses by 5 p.m. Friday.
Whether the referendum will receive anywhere near the number of votes needed — half the faculty plus one — is questionable. Many faculty leaders, while unhappy about the budget cuts, are distancing themselves from the move to publicly criticize Sandeen, who has been chancellor since Dec. 15.
UW System President Ray Cross said he supports Sandeen completely.Lastly, for a genuine feeling of what's happening at the UW Colleges, check out THIS open letter to the Joint Finance Committee by Professor Kelly Wilz from UW- Marshfield/Wood County. She dispels a lot of the myths about professors such as pay:
Sandeen is implementing reforms set in motion before her tenure, Cross said. "Her leadership should be applauded. It is what we expect of every chancellor."
This, is essentially, yet another pay cut. I will officially make less now as a tenured professor than I did when I started in 2009. In most jobs, your pay is supposed to increaseover time—not the other way around. And contrary to popular belief, I don’t make a six figure salary nor will I ever if I spend the rest of my lifetime working in the Colleges. Starting salaries of a professor with a Ph.D. remain at $43,000 and have stagnated. The highest paid professor with a Ph.D. at UW-Marshfield/Wood County, after 23 years of experience and service to our campus, makes $65,521.00.What the hell is happening to education in Wisconsin?
Oh, hey Washington Post... Glad to see someone is keeping Gov. Walker's feet to the fire on this thing while he's absent from Wisconsin...