Time's up. The Universities of Wisconsin are running out of time. Employees are stretched thin, students are overstressed and underprepared for college after two years of struggling to learn online during high school, and administrators are busy shoring up their own jobs by pointing fingers of blame at anyone, everyone else but themselves.

The state has a $7 billion dollar surplus, over $1,000 per man, woman and child. The pandemic is in the rearview mirror. The Wisconsin legislature responded by cutting the UWS budget, further gutting public higher education for many Wisconsinites on top of pandemic setbacks. 

They have denied raises to all UWRF employees, essentially telling them that their work isn’t worthwhile and inflation is a hoax. They’ve mislabeled college students as snowflake liberals who all support Hamas, which is patently false. Walk down Cascade Avenue or Main Street and count the Hamas banners. 

The UWRF administration’s response is to pivot to online classes. The Chamber and the bars and restaurants up and down Main Street should be very concerned about this strategy. Online students don’t buy groceries and pizzas (and other stuff), they don’t rent apartments, their parents don’t come visit, and they don’t participate in athletics. This budget issue is a Main Street and community issue.

The end is definitely coming, and fast, for reasonable access to public higher education in Wisconsin. What will our small town become when the campus shuts down? Fund UWRF. Contact your legislators today.

November 16, 2023
Pierce County Journal


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