UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin defends a plan to allow her campus to no longer operate under the UW-System. The so-called split is part of the New Badger Partnership and Governor Walker’s next two year budget.
Martin tells UW-System Regents at their meeting today there is too much inefficiency in being part of the system and uses the term “Byzantine mazes,” to describe the current bureaucracy.
“I think if I closed my eyes and listened to what you say, I could place any of our institution in the argument,” says Regent Danae Davis.
Martin says the Madison campus is different due to its status and responsibility as a major research institution, but agrees all campuses need more flexibility on decision making and budget issues.
Under the Governor’s proposal, UW-Madison is to governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of 21 members, 11 of whom would be appointed by the Governor and the other ten appointed by alumni and those in the university. The Trustees would have the power to control tuition rates.
Regent John Drew says he’s concerned the autonomy would result in higher tuition for the Madison campus leaving it unaffordable for some. Martin responds that it’s important to keep her university affordable and stressed increased financial aid as a way to do that.
The Partnership would allow UW-Madison to establish itself as a public authority; public institutions not under state agency status such as UW-Hospital or WHEDA.