Walker and special interests are pushing hard to split UW-Madison off from the rest of the UW System in a plan called the New Badger Partnership. The argument, UW-Madison needs the flexibility to deal with Walker's budget cuts and rising costs. However, the New Badger Partnership creates a false dichotomy. UW-Madison does not need public authority status to gain the flexibilities it needs. Welcome the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, which keeps the UW System and the Wisconsin Idea in tact while giving the needed flexibilities to all of Wisconsin's universities.
UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin has responded to the Wisconsin Idea Partnership by saying it doesn't give UW-Madison enough flexibility. My response to Martin, which I emailed to her, is work with the rest of the UW System to strengthen the Wisconsin Idea Partnership so that it provides the needed flexibilities. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership may not be perfect right now, but it points us in the right direction. There's no reason the needed flexibilities can't be added to the Wisconsin Idea Partnership without creating a public authority and splitting off UW-Madison.
The Wisconsin Wave is organizing a rally Tuesday at Bascom Hall from 1pm-2:30pm to protest the New Badger Partnership. As an alumnus of UW-Madison and UW-Fox Valley, this debate is very important to me. However, the New Badger Partnership will affect everyone in Wisconsin by weakening the UW System and duplicating efforts which means we get less for our tax dollar. So I'll be at the rally, and I hope you come too.
You can find lots of useful information on the New Badger Partnership and the Wisconsin Idea Partnership here, far more information than can be found on the New Badger Partnership site.