The director of a state science office facing severe budget cuts after riling Republicans with research on topics such as climate change has confirmed that he is retiring, with some predicting additional departures.
Jack Sullivan, 62, said Wednesday he has been told not to talk about budget cuts that will eliminate more than half of the senior scientist positions from the state Department of Natural Resources Science Services Bureau. But he said this budget had been the most challenging of his 36-year career and the impending cuts played a role in his decision to leave now.
Critics of the budget working its way through the GOP-controlled Legislature predicted Sullivan’s departure signals the beginning of an exodus of DNR scientists mirroring the loss of some top talent at UW-Madison, which is also facing significant reductions and uncertainty about tenure rights.
Scientists, intellectuals, non-partisan auditors, non-Republicans in government, community control, minorities, and college students are all under varying degrees of attack by Scott Walker and Wisconsin legislative Republicans.