by Jonas Persson and Mary Bottari
UPDATE Feb. 5th — After first defending the language in DePere, Walker backed down after being asked by Milwaukee Journal Sentinelreporter Dan Bice about the issue. Late in the day Walker spokesperson Laurel Patrick told media outlets that the changes to the UW mission were a “drafting error,” and a Tweet from Walker made the same claim. The next day the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported thatfar from being a drafting error, the language was specifically requested by the Walker adminstration.
In addition to unprecedented budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin (UW) system, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker struck “the search for truth” and the Wisconsin Idea from the university’s mission in his executive budget bill unveiled last night.
First summed up by UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904, the Wisconsin Idea means that “the borders of the University are the borders of the state.” Van Hise declared that he would “never be content until the beneficent influence of the university reaches every family in the state” and this has long been the core philosophy of the UW System, which has worked hard over the decades to generate programs that serve people and communities all over the state.