Language Politics

By Nicholas Fleisher

Done and done

Today it’s official: no new revenue.  The much-hoped-for one-time cash infusion that Republican legislators were counting on in order to paper over the budget disaster they’ve created will not be forthcoming.  Despite having crossed all their fingers and toes, the Spring Revenue Fairy left them nothing.  How disillusioning!  It’s the kind of thing that makes some people stop believing in trickle-down economics.

With the rude if predictable demise of the fantasy, the media has wasted no time in trotting out the “tough choices” narrative to frame the late-stage budget negotiations that will take place in its wake.  Should you for some reason fail to appreciate the abject dishonesty of this narrative, allow Chuck Rybak to disabuse you.  Here’s a rule of thumb: the degree to which the media is carrying the GOP’s water with this framing is directly proportional to the pissiness of the beat writers’ tweets when they get called out.

Walker and legislative leaders immediately announced that they would move some money around to spare public K-12 from the $127 million in cuts that Walker proposed in February.  The details apparently involve monkeying with the timing of scheduled payments, not coming up with any actual new money, with the result that there will be an even bigger hole to fill two years down the road.  Guess where Walker plans to be then?

Where does this leave the UW System?  Can the state ship a briefcase full of cash across the International Date Line for us, too?  Alas, things are more or less where they were: JFC Co-Chair John Nygren still says he wants to reduce the cut, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald still says the UW can go to hell, and Scott Walker and Ray Cross are still talking about flexibilities.

Speaking of which, the other big “no” of the week was announced yesterday: no public authority.  It’s hardly a surprise at this point, but it’s still good to see the proposal officially dead in this budget.  It was never a serious idea.  It was never clear why the touted savings and flexibilities couldn’t be achieved via statute, or what purpose the proposal served other than to distract attention from the massive proposed budget cut.

What remains very much up in the air at this point is the status of Chapter 36.  In Walker’s initial budget proposal, the creation of the public authority went hand in hand with the near-total excision of Chapter 36 from state law: the UW System, tenure, shared governance, Downer Woods, everything.  All of it was to be put in the hands of the Board of Regents.  Now that the public authority is off the table, the only sensible thing for the legislature to do is to retain Chapter 36 intact, in its entirety, in state law.  You don’t push someone out of the plane when you’ve just thrown away their parachute.

Don’t be surprised if they take a quick stab at stitching a new one, though.  JFC now says it won’t send the budget back to the full legislature until the end of May.  UW is slated to be one of the last items voted on.  That’s lots of time for bad ideas to be floated, but also lots of time for UW supporters to organize and lobby legislators.

If nothing else, the existential uncertainty surrounding Chapter 36 should light a fire under the faculty at Madison: the System flagship is the campus best able to shield itself from budgetary threats (even if to the detriment of the rest of us), but on matters of tenure and shared governance, no one stands apart.

Waiting for the dough

Not much news on the state budget front this week.  Why not?  After all, it’s late April, and the Joint Finance Committee has been getting set to wrap up its work and send the budget back to the full legislature for a while now.

In fact, JFC decided not to meet at all this week.  Instead, they have postponed any further meetings and votes until after the April revenue estimates are announced, which is set to happen this coming Monday.

Let’s pause for a moment and reflect on the ridiculousness of this situation.  The Wisconsin legislature’s very powerful budget committee, whose job is to help set state spending priorities for the coming two years, is waiting on a near-term revenue estimate to determine the fate of public K-12 and the UW System (and much else besides).  Legislators who have wide latitude to craft budget policy in order to achieve their professed goals are throwing up their hands and praying for rain.  The elected leaders who have it in their power to restore full funding for public education in Wisconsin are instead eyeing the Department of Revenue like a bunch of TV weathermen camping out for Punxsutawney fucking Phil.

Will spring tax receipts see their own shadow?  The governor’s office has been hinting furiously that there won’t be much new revenue to work with.  And with our Republican-run state government having deliberately tied one hand behind its budgetary back, that means the proposed cuts likely won’t be reduced by much.  Walker today suggested that he would support a reduction in the cut to UW’s two-year colleges, which, thanks in part to their getting only about a quarter of the per-student funding that Madison enjoys, are facing a true existential threat from the cuts.  UW System President Ray Cross, meanwhile, unaccountably spoke against the idea of sparing the UW Colleges.

Monday should be interesting; more anon.

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“Even less of a commitment”

Today we caught a remarkably (and perhaps unintentionally) clear glimpse of Scott Fitzgerald’s true feelings about UW System funding, courtesy of one little adverb. If you had suspected that Senate Republicans were disinclined to restore any of the proposed $300 million cut, regardless of the size of spring tax receipts, Fitzgerald today removed all doubt.

By way of background: Fitzgerald is the Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader. His office makes him one of the most important people shaping the state’s 2015-17 budget, alongside Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Governor Scott Walker, and the 16 members of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee. As JFC wraps up its work and we head into the late stages of the budget negotiations, there appears to be a minor conflict brewing between Assembly Republicans, who want to reduce (however slightly) the amount of Walker’s proposed cut to UW, and Senate Republicans, who don’t.

Yesterday brought the news that revenue from spring tax receipts (to be announced May 4) is unlikely to be as large as many had hoped. With the Republicans who control the Legislature in ideological lockstep against any tax increases, or any restoration of their many recent tax cuts, spring tax receipts represent the only politically possible source of new revenue that might be used to offset the cuts proposed by Walker throughout the budget.

There seems to be a consensus among those making the decisions that public K-12—faced with a proposed $127 million drop in funding as it stands—is first in line for any new money coming in. UW System leaders have been lobbying hard to get near the front of the line; at his March 25 appearance at UWM, System President Ray Cross reported proudly that UW was tied for first with K-12.

In the meantime, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank proposed, and the Board of Regents at its April meeting approved, major increases in tuition for out-of-state undergraduates and for graduate and professional students. With that as background, here is what Fitzgerald had to say today about where the UW System stands in the pecking order and to what extent the proposed $300 million cut might be reduced: “I think with the out-of-state and the graduate student tuition increases that the Regents implemented there probably seems to be even less of a commitment to backfill that.”

The phrase “even less of a commitment” carries what Jessica Rett, a semanticist at UCLA, calls an “evaluative” interpretation (treated in detail in her recent book). Ordinary unadorned uses of gradable adjectives (which linguists call positives) are evaluative: John is tall means that John exceeds some relevant standard of tallness. Simple comparatives are not evaluative: John is taller than Bill can be true even if neither John nor Bill is tall. Positive-antonym equatives are not evaluative (John is as tall as Bill; fine if neither is tall), but negative-antonym equatives are (John is as short as Bill; only true if they’re both short).

Fitzgerald’s phrase contains a comparative, which, under ordinary circumstances, is not evaluative. Had he simply said there probably seems to be less of a commitment, that would have been consistent with there being a relatively high level of commitment that has now come down a bit. But the inclusion of even gives away the game: modified by even, this comparative becomes unambiguously evaluative. When Fitzgerald said there seems to be even less of a commitment, he (perhaps unwittingly) revealed the fact that the commitment level was already low, and is now lower still. Whether or not he intended to do it in quite this way, Fitzgerald made it absolutely clear that he has no intention of restoring any funding to the UW System, indeed that he’s never had any intention of doing so.

What Blank and the Regents have provided is a remarkably convenient excuse. Madison is the only UW campus for which raising out-of-state and graduate/professional tuition represents anything like a viable path out of the current cuts. By going ahead with that plan now, before the budget has been passed, they have given lawmakers a gift-wrapped argument for implementing all of Walker’s proposed cuts, and have managed to throw the rest of the System under the bus in the process.

Things are, if possible, even worse than before.

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UW tuition: going the wrong way

What is behind the recent upward surge in the cost of tuition at public universities? This question has seen some lively debate in recent weeks, spurred in part by the publication of a New York Times op-ed by Paul Campos, a law professor at the University of Colorado. Campos takes aim at the conventional wisdom that tuition increases are largely due to declines in state funding. He argues instead that tuition increases are the result of the disproportionate growth of university administrations, which, as others have noted, has gone hand in hand with a trend towards privatization and financialization of public university operations (debt-funded building and expansion projects, university involvement in quasi-private ventures of various kinds, to say nothing of the immoderate upswings in the salaries of the ever more numerous administrators themselves).*

Chris Newfield has a very thorough take-down of Campos on his blog: in short, Campos is right that administrative bloat is a problem, but his argument about state funding is just absurdly wrong. I don’t have the expertise to add much to what Newfield says. The declines in state funding are real. Real, too, are the explosive growth of the administrative class and the supreme fungibility (and, thus, desirability) of tuition dollars vs. other forms of university revenue. On the one hand, tuition goes up when state funding drops; on the other, it is advantageous for anyone in a position of administrative power to maximize the proportion of the money at their disposal that comes from tuition.

The obvious corollary is that, in order to stem the tide of tuition increases, we should seek to stabilize or increase state funding and curb the power of administrators. Notably, Scott Walker’s proposed funding and administrative changes to the UW System do the opposite on both scores.

Walker recognized the political sensitivity of UW tuition early on in the budget process, and this week he repeated his call for tuition increases after 2017 to be capped at the level of the consumer price index. This would actually be a laudable proposal if it weren’t so utterly cynical. It has been clear all along that, as far as the budget process is concerned, Walker sees the UW System as an ATM from which he is making a hefty withdrawal. Everything else is pure political expediency: converting the system to a public authority will pay for the cuts (quickly revealed to be a complete fiction), tuition will be “market-based” after 2017 so UW can be flexible and nimble (hastily withdrawn in the face of fears over major tuition hikes), the 2015-17 tuition freeze means the cuts won’t be so bad for students (it will only make the problems of course availability, time to degree, and, eventually, tuition, much worse), and on and on. Keep talking, and you may just get away with the cash.

While Walker hasn’t budged on the $300 million figure and this week reiterated his support for the proposed public authority conversion—i.e., he doubled down on the two proposals that are all but guaranteed to force big tuition increases within a few years—there have been signals that many on the Joint Finance Committee of the Legislature would like to reduce the size of the cut (which is opposed by 70% of Wisconsin registered voters, according to the latest Marquette Law poll), and JFC co-chair John Nygren this week repeated his strong opposition to the public authority.

While this is a slight improvement over what Walker is proposing, it’s hardly a victory for anyone concerned about tuition, and not just because of the numbers. There is a problem of principle, too: when Assembly Republicans began distancing themselves from the public authority proposal in the wake of the March Board of Regents meeting, their stated rationale was that the Regents were “not ready” for the proposed autonomy because they were unwilling to gut tenure and shared governance. When he appeared on the Joy Cardin Show last month, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos suggested that shared governance takes up too much of the faculty’s time, and worried that campuses might be wasting money by doling out course releases for service on the faculty senate (which, for the record, is not actually a thing that happens).

Whatever one might make of the social and cultural factors behind this animus towards faculty, the drive to eliminate tenure and shared governance flies in the face of these legislators’ stated desire to hold tuition in check. Faculty, as Chuck Rybak helpfully reminds us, do not actually get to set tuition rates. Faculty salaries have, per Newfield, stagnated in real terms since 1970. The independence and academic freedom that faculty enjoy under the system of tenure and shared governance are too often mistaken for concentrated institutional power. The Republican push to strip away that independence, if successful, will do nothing to hold down tuition. On the contrary, it will consolidate even more power in the hands of administrators, putting it precisely where it can most readily be converted into outsize increases in tuition.

And indeed, how did UW System President Ray Cross react to Walker’s renewed call for a CPI-pegged cap on tuition increases after 2017? He said, “Many legislators and stakeholders agree that this kind of price control is not compatible with the agile, market-driven and competitive entity the state needs us to be,” which is more or less the management-speak version of “Are you fucking kidding me?” Meanwhile, the Board of Regents at its meeting last week approved the first two years of a four-year plan by UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank to increase out-of-state and graduate/professional tuition dramatically.

For anyone who is actually concerned about UW tuition, in other words, the twin movements to slash state funding and eliminate faculty protections represent a triumph of political spite over economic logic. Shared governance may not have a clear analogue in the business world, but it is one of the few checks on administrative power within the university (as forcefully articulated by Sara Goldrick-Rab and Chad Alan Goldberg here), and thus one of the few internal forces that can be deployed against those most directly responsible for tuition increases that go beyond what is needed to offset state cuts. As for those cuts, they should obviously be eliminated and reversed. At the moment our Legislature, in thrall to Grover Norquist, is praying for rain in the form of spring tax receipts, but in the longer term we will need legislators with the stomach to raise revenue, or cancel scheduled tax cuts, or accept massive sums of no-strings-attached Federal money. We may also need a governor who is unwilling to sacrifice his state’s entire public education system on the altar of his perplexingly plausible presidential aspirations.

In an ideal world, the governor’s proposal to cap future tuition increases would be matched by a legislative commitment to fund the system accordingly, and a strong shared governance system that limits both the size and the power of administrative overhead. In reality, we are going in the opposite direction on both fronts. The consequences for tuition are as sadly easy to predict as they are politically difficult to prevent.

*(Anecdotally, here at UWM we have had some high-level administrators in recent years receive raises in excess of the starting salary of, say, an assistant professor of linguistics.)

Stable and predictable, or at least predictable

UW System President Ray Cross visited UWM on Wednesday for our latest public forum on the budget, one of a series of visits he has been making to UW campuses this week. During the Q&A session, I asked him to elaborate on the proposed future funding source for the UW System, which Cross has consistently and approvingly characterized as “stable and predictable”.

By way of background: the funding proposal in Walker’s budget calls for a permanent $150-million-per-year cut in funding to the UW System, with funding increases pegged to the Consumer Price Index beginning in 2018. The base multiplier for those CPI-pegged increases would be $753 million, which is equal to the current amount of state support to the System (roughly $1.2 billion), minus $150 million, minus what the state gives the System for debt service and a few other items. Walker’s proposal is for the future funding to come from sales tax. The proposal, of course, is also for that funding to go to the future UW System Authority, but we have seen in the last two weeks that the public authority proposal is all but dead in the legislature.

With that said, let’s assume for argument’s sake that this funding plan will apply to an administratively unchanged UW System. There are two major components to the funding plan, and they take effect at different times. First, there is the drastic reduction in funding: $150 million per year, which is equal to about 13% of current state support, an unprecedentedly large cut (though not by much; see below). That happens immediately, on July 1 of this year. Second, there are the annual CPI-pegged increases, which are quite modest (roughly 2% per year, calculated on a drastically reduced overall base) but nonetheless welcome. Those don’t kick in until 2018. In other words, the cut is an imminent threat that the current legislature has the power to carry out; the “stability and predictability” is a far-off promise that must be kept by the next legislature and its successors.

I asked Cross on Wednesday whether there is any mechanism in the current proposal that would make it difficult for future legislatures to renege on the promised stability and predictability. The answer was no. Cross correctly pointed out that, with the proposed funding base and CPI-pegged increases written into law now, future legislatures would have to take affirmative steps in order to alter them. If our current experience with Chapter 36 is any indication, however, it is fair to say that the Republican majority that now dominates the legislature (and that promises to remain in power until at least 2020) is not shy about taking such steps.

Indeed, if there is anything predictable about our current legislative majority, it is its relentless drive to cut taxes. Walker and the legislature have cut taxes numerous times since taking power in 2011. Several key Republican legislators, including two current members of the Joint Finance Committee (Rep. Dale Kooyenga and Senator Leah Vukmir) and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, have taken the Americans for Tax Reform pledge never to raise taxes, as has Walker. For all the stability in UW funding promised by the current legislature on behalf of its successors, and loudly touted by Cross, the overwhelming likelihood is that the legislature will cut taxes again at its first opportunity, and this will in turn require further funding cuts to UW and other reductions in state spending. As UW Regent David Walsh put it at the Board of Regents meeting on March 5, this legislature’s promise of stability and predictability is so much “fairy dust“.

The larger pattern of shifting higher education costs from the state to students, of course, extends far beyond Wisconsin and has been a mainstay of both Republican and Democratic governments in recent years. As Robin Vos has been quick to point out, Wisconsin’s previous governor, the Democrat Jim Doyle, cut funding to the UW System by $250 million in his 2003-05 budget. In the next breath, Vos takes the UW System to task for having dramatically increased tuition in response to Doyle’s cut, and contrasts that with the tuition freeze that is proposed to accompany Walker’s $300 million cut. In less politically interested terms, we might say that Doyle knew the UW System couldn’t survive a major budget cut intact but was content to shift some of the costs of running the System onto its students. Walker and Vos, by contrast, want to have their political cake and eat it too, shifting costs away from the state while denying UW even the neoliberal lifeline of drastic tuition increases it had previously been afforded.

Walker and Vos’s rhetoric around tuition seeks to shift attention away from the legislature’s continual disinvestment and toward instructional costs. But, as stated by UWM University Committee members and Distinguished Professors Mark Schwartz (at last Friday’s Joint Finance Committee hearing at Alverno College) and Margo Anderson (at Wednesday’s forum with Cross at UWM), inflation-adjusted per-student instructional costs at UWM have remained flat since 1980. While this aggregate number conceals some disturbing trends—in particular, it elides the growing proportion of instructional work done by adjuncts and other contingent instructors in order to maintain that constant instructional cost—it absolutely demolishes Vos’s implication that tuition increases are somehow the result of tenure and shared governance, which have remained unchanged in statute over the whole period. Tuition has risen to offset state disinvestment, period. In 1980, state funding paid for 75% of the cost of instruction, with tuition making up the remaining 25%. Today, those proportions have nearly flipped, with state funding paying for 32% of that cost (which, recall, has not risen beyond the rate of inflation) and tuition making up the remaining 68%. Faculty may be a convenient scapegoat, but the problem of rising tuition is one almost entirely of the legislature’s own making.

What we need from our System President, then, is the courage to tell legislators that continued funding cuts will make outsize tuition increases a mathematical inevitability, and that unfunded tuition freeze gimmicks will only exacerbate the problem. We need someone to present a narrative of public higher education that can outshine the lodestar of tax cuts and Grover Norquist, a narrative that portrays cost-shifting onto students not as an efficient practice with bipartisan appeal, but as a repugnant abdication of our basic responsibilities. What we need from UW leaders, in short, is a moral theory of the public university. What we have seen so far from Ray Cross, at least in public, is a series of modest complaints about the details of a larger framework towards which he has signaled his near-total acquiescence, not to say complicity.

There seems to be some hope that Cross will get the cut reduced and preserve tenure and shared governance in the near term (indeed, he has now famously pledged to resign should he fail to do so), and it is certainly to his credit that he is working hard to accomplish this. But without a coherent narrative about state support for public higher education and its dominant role in affecting tuition, about the only thing we can predict is that this stability will prove fleeting.

JFC testimony

Together with several UWM colleagues, and alongside hundreds of others, I attended today’s public hearing of the Joint Finance Committee of the Wisconsin Legislature, which was held at Alverno College in Milwaukee. This was the second of four public hearings held around the state this week and next.

The hearing was an education in the many deplorable proposals contained in Scott Walker’s 2015-17 budget. I have been focused primarily on the proposed funding cuts and structural changes to the UW System, and also on the funding cuts to K-12 education and the proposed voucher expansion. During the time that I was able to attend the hearing, I heard impassioned and compelling testimony against Walker’s proposed cuts to Family Care and IRIS, among many other things. Walker’s budget is a moral catastrophe from front to back.

I could only stay for about four hours, and thus wasn’t able to speak at the hearing. My colleagues who arrived much earlier than me finally got their chance to speak after waiting for eight and a half hours. I delivered a written copy of my prepared testimony to a committee page. The testimony is designed to fit within the allotted two-minute time limit, and is correspondingly terse and narrow in focus. It is reproduced below:

Dear Committee Members,

I am an assistant professor of Linguistics at UW-Milwaukee. I’d like to begin by commending you for taking seriously the issue of UW tuition and affordability—as shown, for example, in Reps. Nygren and Knudson’s statement issued Wednesday—and also for your healthy skepticism of UW administrative leaders. I’m glad to see that many of you share the concerns that I and my colleagues have expressed about the very sketchy public authority proposal and its potential effects on tuition, and I’m glad to hear that the public authority is now unlikely to become law in this budget.

But I find it difficult to square your stated concern for UW affordability with the proposal to cut state funding to the System, even by an amount smaller than Gov. Walker’s proposed $300 million. The major driver of tuition increases is the state disinvestment that we have seen under both Democratic and Republican administrations. This is true across all sectors in higher education—research universities, comprehensives, and technical and community colleges—and ultimately holding down tuition depends on your commitment to maintaining and eventually increasing funding levels.

I also urge you, in light of the demise of the public authority proposal, to keep Chapter 36 intact in state law in this budget. Some legislative leaders this week have taken issue with the Board of Regents’ recent resolutions in support of tenure and shared governance. If you take a look at public university systems in other states—including Michigan, California, Texas, Ohio, and many others—you will find that tenure and shared governance are bedrock principles enshrined in Board of Regents rules and bylaws, much as our Board of Regents resolved at its last meeting. Endangering these principles in Wisconsin would be a major self-inflicted wound to our national and international competitiveness, and would make it impossible for UW to recruit and retain top faculty. Like a number of my colleagues, I came to Wisconsin from a tenure-track job at a university in another state. Had UW not had tenure and shared governance, I would not have so much as applied for the job I now hold.

UW faculty share your concerns about affordability and quality. Please let us continue to work with you to maintain and improve both, for the good of the state we all love and call home.

Don’t need a weatherman

The political momentum for converting the UW System from a state agency into a public authority has continued to stall in the wake of the March 5 Board of Regents meeting. Not two weeks ago, the public authority conversion appeared as unopposed by major players in the UW System and state government as it was unsupported by evidence or argument. By the end of this past week, chancellors were publicly voicing their skepticism and prominent legislators were positioning themselves for the proposal’s anticipated demise and the budget negotiations that will now take place in its aftermath.

Most notably, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos made headlines on Thursday when he voiced his frustration with the Board of Regents. Vos took issue with the Board’s March 5 resolutions in support of tenure and shared governance, asking why the state should give the Regents greater autonomy (in the form of the public authority) when they are unwilling to make changes in this core area of the university’s operations. While faculty and others were understandably aghast, it seems that Vos’s comments were the product of nothing so much as his need to distance himself politically from the now seemingly doomed public authority proposal, which he had earlier championed. To be sure, it is a distressing measure of Vos and his political base that his face-saving move is to harangue the Regents over their unwillingness to smash one of the pillars of the university. But tough talk often rides in place of actual conviction, and while Vos is no doubt frustrated that the Regents have declined this particular bit of dirty work, it remains to be seen whether the legislature will pull the trigger when it will be their fingerprints alone on the gun.

In those same comments Thursday, Vos also indicated his desire in principle to reduce the size of the budget cuts for the UW and K-12 proposed by Scott Walker. Vos hasn’t passed up opportunities to state his differences with Walker in the past, and this was no exception. Walker is now fully consumed by his still-unofficial presidential campaign, to the point that even the Journal-Sentinel’s beat reporters don’t know which state he’s in on a given day. The jockeying for succession within the Wisconsin GOP is surely well under way. And while Vos’s prospects for governor are uncertain—the smart money would appear to be on Dale Kooyenga, the 36-year-old state representative from Brookfield (deepest WOW county), a certified public accountant and Iraq veteran who has risen rapidly from his election in 2010 to the vice-chairmanship of the powerful Joint Finance Committee—it is certainly interesting to see Vos draw a distinction between himself and Walker by moving to oppose the public authority and pointing out the undue largeness of Walker’s proposed cuts.

About those cuts: this past week also brought a first glimpse of what to expect if Walker’s proposed $300 million cut for 2015-17 becomes law. On Thursday, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt announced a buyout offer that would apply to over 300 faculty and staff. The week before, Schmidt testified alongside UW System President Ray Cross before the Joint Finance Committee of the legislature, speaking with disquieting zeal about the challenge of reshaping the university in the face of significant funding cuts. The buyout, of course, is the kind of thing that happens when academic strategy is dictated wholly by cost-cutting. At the JFC hearing, Schmidt used the metaphor of emptying out a basket and deciding what to put back in. For all the deliberation and strategic decision-making Schmidt’s metaphor is meant to suggest, the initial stage of the plan—in which as many as a quarter of the university’s employees are simply being invited to leave—looks more like flinging the entire institution against the wall and seeing what sticks.

With opposition to the public authority proposal now running the gamut from the Board of Regents to the Speaker of the Assembly (to say nothing of UW faculty, staff, students, and alumni), there has been a notable silence from the two figures most closely tied to the proposal: Scott Walker and Ray Cross. Walker is otherwise occupied; Cross will visit UWM for the campus’s public budget meeting on March 25. It will be interesting to see whether the public authority is anything close to a tenable proposition ten days from now. Surely even Cross, the public authority’s most ardent advocate, must know which way the wind blows.


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