The mission of the system is to develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural and human sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the system is the search for truth.to
The mission of the system is to develop human resources to meet he state's workforce needs, to discover and disseminate knowledge, and to develop in students heightened intellectual, cultural and human sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose.Personally I find the old version an uninspiring committee-written bit of schlock, so I am not going to get all snotty about the thought of revising it. But notice the direction of Walker's changes: out with the search for the truth, stimulating society, and reaching beyond the boundaries of the campus, in with workforce needs. Plus, calls for a "search for truth" are an old part of UW's heritage, enshrined in campus plaques like the one at the head of this post. A real conservative would have found some way to keep an echo of that language in the mission statement.
I find this revealing about Walker's character in several ways. Changing the mission statement of the university by inserting language in the budget is the sort of thing Walker has done a lot of in his tenure. He is by nature a divider, not a uniter. Where most politicians would convene a commission of gray-headed divines before making any such change, Walker just does it and dares people to contradict him. He makes no attempt to conciliate his opponents in any way. So far he has made this approach work well for him, winning two elections and solidifying Republican control of Wisconsin's government. I have personally found his success quite surprising; I thought he had gone too far by asking mild midwesterners to support Georgia-style conservatism. But I was wrong, and I will never again underestimate Walker.
Walker is not the sort of conservative who is impressed by august institutions. He seems, in fact, to have no respect for tradition whatsoever. It is hard for me to imagine him getting misty-eyed about the Capitol building, or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He cares about low taxes, lax regulation of business, breaking unions and talking tough toward foreigners. He is a Fox News Republican, not a Tory.
On the matter of the mission statement, it seems Walker misstepped. Faced with an outcry, he has backed down in an amusing way, first saying that the change was a "drafting error", then that it came from the university rather than from his office, then finally admitting it came from his people but not bothering to defend it. So the mission statement is saved. What happens to the $300 million cut remains to be seen.