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As I See It

Re-exam of higher ed a good idea



Tommy Thompson is right. If we keep doing the same things over and over, we shouldn’t expect different results. The interim President of the University of Wisconsin System is calling for a re-examination of higher education in the state. He is calling on Wisconsin legislators and Governor Evers to appoint a task force to review every aspect of higher education in the state. The former Governor points out that little has changed in the state’s approach to higher ed. Taxpayers spend more and more to support it, campuses keep building new buildings, and students keep racking up massive debt. That is the way it has been for decades. But does it have to be that way? Thompson isn’t so sure. Do we need to keep putting up expensive new buildings on every campus, especially with the advance of distance learning. He wonders whether the UW System really needs 26 separate campuses, many of which duplicate course offerings at other schools. Wouldn’t taxpayers be better served if one UW school specialized in nursing, another in engineering? Thompson thinks now is the time to look into that, and he is right. It is time to think bigger about how higher education is provided in the state, putting the needs of the students first. Thompson has smartly started the conversation. Now we will see if lawmakers have the willingness to finish that conversation.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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