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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 11 (March 15, 1955)

Fox, Gordon
Supporters of 279-S have responsibility to show cause,   p. 12

Page 12

                       of 279-S
      have responsibility
           to sho w cause,
Gordon Fox,
Wisconsin Alumni Associationl
T    HIS ISSUE of the IfIisconssi; Alzumnus is devoted, in
part, to the question of coordination of the higher edu-
     cational facilities of Wisconsin.
   When this matter was before the Legislature two years ago,
it was the concensus of the alumni that the bill then offered
contained provisions definitely prejudicial to the best interests
of the University. Time factors necessitated quick action by the
Alumni Association, which formally expressed disapproval of
the bill and encouraged alumni to do likewise.
   A new bill 279S is now receiving consideration by the
legislature. This bill has eliminated some of the provisions
which were considered to be objectionable in the previous bill,
and is generally recognized as a substantial improvement.
  Differences of opinion concerning the merits of the new
bill now exist between three most interested parties; namely,
Governor Kohler, the regents of the University and the regents
of the state colleges. Unanimity of opinion does not exist
within the ranks of the latter two groups themselves.
   It seems to be generally recognized that adequate coordina-
tion between the regents of the state colleges and the regents
of the University has been lacking. Such coordination has not
hitherto been required nor fostered.
  There seems to be quite general agreement that closer co-
ordination of effort in the realm of higher education in
Wisconsin is essential. Present differences of view hinge prin-
cipally upon the method of attaining this desired result. The
new bill 279S proposes to accomplish this by superseding
the two separate board of regents by a single board responsible
for all higher educational facilities. The regents of the Uni-
versity disapprove this plan, expressing preference for an
alternative retaining the two separate boards, but requiring
them to collaborate with a view to the attainment of the
desired objective.
  The procedure proposed in bill 279S represents a greater
departure from present procedure than does the alternate plan
suggested by the regents of the University. For this reason, it
would seem to be incumbent upon those favoring the bill to
show adequate cause to warrant the more drastic change.
   It should also be noted that there is some implication that
the courses offered at the state colleges are to be amplified and
strengthened. As this objective can be attained only at sub-
stantial cost, the question may well be considered as to whether,
as a corollary of this program, the interests of the University
may be, in some measure, compromised.
   The Alumni Association is endeavoring, through the pages
of the Alumnus, to inform the alumni as to the content of the
bill and its significance to alumni. I have indicated to Gov-
ernor Kohler that the alumni would appreciate his coopera-
tion to the end that sufficient time be afforded to permit this
action to be consummated. He assured me that he would en-
deavor to cooperate to make such action possible.
   Every alumnus is urged to study this question carefully, to
reach his own conclusions as to whether this bill is in the best
interests of all concerned, and to give his local legislators
immediately the benefit of his or her opinion. Through such
democratic processes can our alumni best serve their Univer-
sity and their state.

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