The PJ Tatler

Scott Walker Takes On Another Ripe Target: Academe

Serious, this guy is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, as The American Interest reports:

Scott Walker, one of the Republicans considering to run for president in 2016, earned his bona-fides earlier in his career by taking on public sector unions. Now he has embarked on another high-profile fight with a state-funded constituency: university professors. The Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Walker, a Republican, has proposed a two-year tuition freeze and a $300 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System’s budget—about a 13% drop next year from current funding levels. Under the plan, Mr. Walker would shift control of the university system from the state to a new independent authority. He has also said that he thinks faculty needs to work harder.

 We have warned for some time that the modern American university system is more vulnerable than many professors like to think, and that the way public universities organize themselves is going to come under much tougher scrutiny in the coming years.

Gee, that’s too damn bad. Of course the Democrats will howl, but hey — elections have consequences!

There is still a lot of respect in the country for the hard sciences and the people who teach them, but with the partial exception of economists and business school professors, much of the public has been losing its veneration for social science professors and humanities professors for some time.

A major restructuring of the university system is likely to come, with the weak spot being the publicly funded university system. Politics will have something to do with it; studies show that university faculty are one of the most Democratic groups in the country. With a large majority of states now under GOP control both in the legislatures and the governors’ mansions, it’s going to be hard for tenured faculty and high level administrators to get a sympathetic hearing for their pleas.