Jun 24, 2015

Scott Walker Blasted by Conservative UW Profs for Attacks on University

Sifting and Winnowing Plaque on Bascom Hill
Photo by UW-Madison, University Communications
Scott Walker and the long, sinister shadow on the University

Writing in a national political journal, two conservative and long-tenured UW-Madison professors blasted Scott Walker's continued assault on the University of Wisconsin System, singling out Walker's move to eliminate tenure protections from Wisconsin state statutes and the consequences of imperiling academic freedom.

"[W]e’re increasingly worried that in trying to take up another conservative crusade, our governor, Scott Walker, is going to silence the very voices he claims to support," write Donald Downs, professor of political science at UW-Madison and John Sharpless, professor of history UW-Madison write in The Politico.

Downs and Sharpless say, "We harbor strong concerns about Walker’s proposed tenure revisions. Without tenure protections, professors like us who fight for free speech and liberty—values Walker himself espouses—could be even more at risk of being targeted on college campuses for our beliefs ...  As leaders of a free speech and liberty movement at UW-Madison that has enjoyed considerable success over the course of the past 20 years, we can attest to the positive effects of tenure for those with conservative and libertarian beliefs."

Conclude Downs and Sharpless: "Standing in front of [the "sifting and winnowing"] Plaque [on Bascom Hill], one can see the state capitol dome less than a mile to the east. But today that very dome casts a long, sinister shadow on the university."

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