When news broke that Governor Scott Walker wanted to change the purpose of higher education in state law, removing key words, the governor’s staff backtracked and called it a “drafting error.” Critics say that he wants higher education to focus on job training and competition in the global economy. Governor Walker dropped out of Marquette University and never completed his undergraduate studies; is that why he has an animus towards higher education?

 

Tim Slekar, Dean of the College of Education at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, says there was no drafting error. 

 

Right here in Wisconsin our Governor, Scott Walker, declared war on the idea of free inquiry and the search for truth. He then went and put forth a budget that cuts $300 million from the UW system. When Governor Walker was called on his blatant attack on the academic mission of higher education—specifically the Wisconsin Idea—his response was a simple dismissal and officially called it a “drafting error.”

 

According to Jonas Persson and Mary Botarri of the Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, Walker wanted to strike language,

 

ensuring that the mission of the UW is to extend “training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition,” as well as the language specifying that “the search for truth” is “basic to every purpose of the system.”

 

If you need to go back and read that again go ahead.

 

Now let that sink in…..

 

This is an attack on the right to learn and the right to investigate the human condition. This is an attack on the search and journey that promotes ways of living that enhance life.

 

Why would Governor Walker want to strike language that commits the state university system to improving the human condition and the search for truth?