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Tuesday, September 23, 2014  |   Madison, WI: 62.0° F  
THE SCONZ: Breaking news and commentary on campus, city and state politics
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Correction: Scott Walker influence on UW-Madison Board of Trustees overblown
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BIG CORRECTION LISTED AT END OF POST.

Writing in opposition to the separation of UW-Madison from the UW System, David Ahrens makes some good points. For instance, he explains, if the Madison campus is no longer a part of the UW System, fewer legislators will be interested in promoting its strength, instead steering money to the campuses in their districts.

However, Ahrens is incorrect when he suggests that the Board of Trustees, which will govern UW-Madison, will be a board for and by Scott Walker:

Gov. Walker will appoint a majority of the Board of Trustees overseeing the university. This new board, if it is similar to Walker's previous appointees, will have a decidedly conservative caste to it. The Board of Regents, which will continue to govern the remainder of the university, was entirely appointed by Gov. Doyle. Even after a full term, Walker's appointments will control only a minority of the Regents.

In other words, instead of the Doyle-appointed Regents, Walker will have an immediate board majority to (in his words) "facilitate faculty entrepreneurship."

As I've already discussed, unless Walker is recalled next year, his influence on the Board of Regents will be much more far-reaching down the road than the mark he makes on the board of trustees.

Correction: This has not been a good week. Yet another correction I have to make. I was wrong to assume that Gov. Walker would be obligated to appoint a current member of the Board of Regents (all of whom were appointed to that body by Doyle) to the new UW-Madison Board of Trustees. Although Walker will have to appoint a regent, it could be one of the three regents Walker will appoint this year, likely before the budget passes and the new system is put in place.

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