Scott Walker’s March Through the Academy

Wisconsin’s public universities are beginning to offer buyouts to their employees in response to Governor Walker’s budget cuts. From the Journal-Sentinel:

Two campuses within the University of Wisconsin System announced Tuesday they are offering employees a voluntary retirement buyout with a one-time payout equal to 50% of an employee’s annual base salary. […]

Tuesday’s announcements bring to four the total number of campuses seeking to reduce their workforce through voluntary buyouts in the face of state budget cuts. […]

Earlier this year, we said Walker’s announced $300 million budget cut to the University of Wisconsin system was smarter than many people realize. Universities, with their armies of administrators, tenure-shielded academics, far-left politics, and often arcane fields of study, won’t find it easy to convince a public facing tax increases and government service cuts that there’s just no budgetary fat in the entire university system.

That could also put him in a sweet spot for the GOP nomination fight next year. His “throne of skulls” will already be piled high, so he’ll potentially have to do less work than other candidates establishing his conservative credentials. That, in turn, could allow him to gain ground with centrist voters without alienating the right.

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