Walker's War On Academia Causes Preemptive Brain Drain

When Scott Walker came out with his presidential campaign state budget, one of the things that caused the biggest and longest outrage was his War on Academia. First, Walker proposed cutting $300 million from the University of Wisconsin budget, saying that professors just need to teach more classes.

He also proposed doing away with the Wisconsin Idea, the driving philosophy behind the university system, which is that their work should benefit everyone in the state. Walker later called it a "drafting error," which was proven to be another one of his lies.

Even though his budget has not been approved by the legislature yet, much less implemented, it is already having negative effects. Namely, chasing away some of the nation's top researchers, such as Anne Sales:

One candidate, Anne Sales, was chosen for a new endowed, tenured faculty chair in nursing and is said to have cited Gov. Scott Walker’s $300 million budget cut proposal to UW System.

“She has changed her mind about my offer and will accept a compelling counteroffer at Michigan,” Katharyn May, dean of the nursing school, wrote to chancellor Rebecca Blank on Feb. 5. “The candidate received the Michigan offer as the budget news was breaking on the national scene, and in her words, she is ‘unwilling to risk’ shifting her research program here, when Michigan is clearly willing to invest in it.”

But wait! There's more. There's always more:

Charles Roberts, a medical doctor who runs a cancer research lab affiliated with Harvard University, was the school’s choice for director of the prestigious Carbone Cancer Center.

Blank cited him at a February meeting of the UW System Board of Regents, describing him as “a really top-notch researcher” and telling regents that Walker’s proposed budget cuts — and the headlines they made nationally — had caused him to back out of consideration.

“He’s really afraid that if he comes here, we will not be able to invest in research in medical sciences of the sort that is needed in the years ahead to be the sort of place that he wants to be,” she said.


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In a Feb. 4 email to Blank provided by the university, Roberts — who along with his wife is a native of Wisconsin — described withdrawing as the most difficult decision of his professional career.

“The University of Wisconsin is a wonderful place and will always be home in my heart,” he said. “And for my wife as well. We both have many positive feelings about UW and about Madison.”

Roberts did not respond to a phone and email message left with him on Wednesday.

He cited funding issues in explaining why he wasn’t taking the job but did not, in the emails provided, specifically cite Walker’s proposed cuts. He noted that Carbone, while historically highly regarded nationally, had in recent years “carried substantially less impact” and that continued funding looked uncertain.

“I became concerned that without considerably greater new funds that the Director would not be able to facilitate (new, innovative research) and that the Center could even potentially be at risk,” he said.

Wisconsin is not only losing top notch candidates. Every UW campus is offering buy outs to hundreds of employees in preparation for the cuts.

Students in the system are not only losing quality faculty, but even the fatted calf of sports are getting cut due to Walker's myopic and maleficent budget.

I don't know, but Walker must have been really traumatized by his failure in college to hold such a malicious attitude to higher learning.

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