In an interview with WTMJ, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said that his proposed $300 million budget cuts to higher education should convince university professors that they should be “teaching more classes and doing more work.”
“Maybe it’s time for faculty and staff to start thinking about teaching more classes and doing more work and this authority frees up the [University of Wisconsin] administration to make those sorts of requests,” Walker told Right Wisconsin editor-in-chief Charlie Sykes.
Later that day, he told reporters in Madison that “in the future, by not having the limitation of things like shared governance, they might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class a semester.”
“It will make them do things that they traditionally have not done,” he added. “Like I said, things like maybe looking at the use of faculty and staff a bit more efficiently like others have done in government in the last four years at both the state and local level.”
However, as University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone said Wednesday, “we already are one of the leanest and most efficient research universities in the country. I am deeply concerned that if the proposed cuts materialize there will be a significant impact on our ability to serve our students and meet our mission as a public urban research university.”
Many in higher education are also upset that the $300 million budget cuts exist in the same budget as $220 million in public finances for a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team.
When asked why the state “would come up with more money than the billionaire who owns the team,” Walker answered that “our hope is that the city and the county will not only step up to lead, but hopefully will be as creative as we are.”
Listen to Walker’s interview with WTMJ below via Soundcloud.