Implications and Solutions to Wisconsin's Higher Education Cuts

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1877 Words
Date:  2022-07-18


How would a country without college graduates look like? It would definitely be a country void of skilled individuals and would be on a path of failure in the industrial world. Higher education is essential in providing a nation with personnel that has skills in managing the industrial scope. Higher education institutions are the peaks of education where students are accorded the necessary skills that allow them to manage industries, conduct research and make innovations that are required in the expansion of the industrial sector. It is also the highest level where professionals who hold the country together are made. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every government to ensure that higher education is safeguarded, protected and nurtured seeing that the country depends on the graduates for the subsistence and growth of the country's economy. The Wisconsin budget slash on the higher education share was, therefore, a misinformed action. Reasonable funding of the higher education allocation was made by the state which slowed down the operations of the institutions in myriad ways. Higher education is essential for the growth of every state and should be allocated reasonable funding for it to run; else the state faces a shortage of necessary professionals in the future.

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The United States of America has had a long-lived culture of protecting higher education institutions. Many developed and developing countries look up to the United States as a nation where professionals are nurtured under the highest international standards. For a long time, the country has been a benchmark for many countries which seek to learn the management of higher education. The essence of caring for higher education is therefore internationally acknowledged. The reason as to why it is necessary to take care of the top level institutions in the country is to raise professionals that have essential expertise that is required for the nation's growth (Savidge n.p.). Running higher education institutions is however not a walk in the park. It is a process that requires heavy funding seeing that various processes take place in the organizations. It is, therefore, necessary for every state to ensure that the funding of the organizations is enough to meet their needs.

Amidst the knowledge that higher education institutions require massive finding, the state of Wisconsin in 2011, under the leadership of Governor Scott Walker made a budget slash that reduced the funding of the top-level institutions by a mega 25%. The cut on the higher education funding according to the top executive in the state was to protect property owners and taxpayers in the state. While the reason to cut the costs could have appealed to an average state dweller, the implications of the cut were devastating. Numerous mismanagements of the institutions that the same state heavily depended on for the case of research among other necessary activities were witnessed ("How Gov. Scott Walker Broke: Public Education Funding And Higher Education." n.p.). Concerns regarding the abilities of the institutions to maintain their workforce were evident. Most higher education institutions in the state did not have other sources of income to maintain the institutions with the same standards as they were before the cut. Mismanagement issues did not only arise in the payment of the workforce. It was also witnessed in critical aspects such as student attendance, affordability of basic research resources, and transport of students from one location to another among other issues. Wisconsin cut on higher education funding was, therefore, a slow-down activity that negatively impacted in the running of the institutions.

The implications of cutting the funding of higher level educations funding from the government are universally known. One of the reasons as to why the government funds higher education institutions are to enhance their affordability to ordinary citizens who could have otherwise not afforded the education due to financial stresses facing them and their families. Studies show that only 27% of American families can take their children to top-level institutions without needing the aid of the government. A critical observation of this population shows that more than 70% of students in the country cannot access the much-needed education without the aid of the government (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities 1). Cutting short the funding of the institutions means that the funding of education made to the students also instrumentally reduces. One of the implications of cutting the funding, therefore, is an immense dropout from higher level institutions by students who find the education not affordable.

Most higher education institutions are also granted the role of paying their workforce inclusive of lecturers and subordinate staff. Payment of the workforce wages is a heavy duty since it determines whether learning operations in the institution takes place. While it may not be a hard duty for higher education facilities to pay their subordinate staff, the hard burden lies in paying the academics inclined workers (Pucciarelli and Andreas 312). Their job descriptions and classes require that they paid hefty amounts which could be a burden if the institution lacks enough capital to pay them. The Wisconsin cut of the funding exhibited the substantial funding that is required in paying the academicians. After the budget slash, the institutions in the state lacked a better way to fund their academic workforce. A severe withdrawal from the profession by teachers was witnessed. A record 8.8% of lecturers withdrew from the profession meaning that learning activities in the facilities could no more take place efficiently (DeFour n.p.). Cutting short on the funding that is made to higher education institutions is, therefore, a risky activity that could paralyze the process of learning in the facilities.

One of the essential activities that are undertaken in higher education facilities is research. Universities and colleges are institutions where students are not just taught the theoretical part of their learning. They are rather institutions where students are taught the practice and skills that coincide with their fields. Research is, therefore, a critical aspect of every campus student. They need to learn the practicality of what they are taught since they will be required to undertake active engagements in their fields when they are assumed as professionals (Weerts and Justin 938). Research is, however, a costly process that involves expensive equipment which most of the times are unaffordable to the organizations. Government funding, therefore, reinforces higher education institutions as it gives them the necessary funds that are required for research. Should the government cut the funding, then it is assured that minimal or no research will be undertaken at all.

The essence of campus learning is thus questionable since even when the students can afford the education, they fail to acquire the necessary skills. Lack of research kills innovation which is an articulate principle of maintaining a healthy economy. To a great extent, cutting the funding of higher education institutions as was witnessed in Wisconsin is, therefore, a threat to innovation and specialty in the state which lowers economic growth (Kane et al. 112). The impact of this occurrence is that future sustenance of the state could be unbearable due to slowed innovation. Most higher education institutions in Wisconsin recorded slowed down research in the year when the funding was cut down. From a more extended prospect, the state risked lack of innovators which could eventually lead the state lag behind in economic development in critical areas such as industries and the medical field.

Research shows that frustrated campus students have a higher probability to engage in crime than the rest of the population. Cutting down campus funding makes campus students drop out. Without having realized their dreams to become entirely brewed professionals, students in the state could not access decent jobs like they would have like it would be the case should they have been given a chance to pursue their dreams through government subsidy of their fees? Frustrated as they were, a high likelihood of engaging in crimes could be evident (Potter 22). Cutting short in higher education, therefore, has an impact on the peace and tranquility of the state since it is a catalyst for crime. It is, therefore, necessary for state governments to ensure adequate funding of campus education as a way of maintaining peace and curbing crime in their localities.


The state of Wisconsin seems to have had particular elaborate reasons as to why the slashed the funding of higher education. The fundamental goal for the cut as stated by the incumbent governor was that there was an urgent need to amass funds which would be used in the protection of private property in the state. The need to protect taxpayers is also another burden that the governor felt that it needed to be addressed. However, the cut was more of hurting to the state than healing the problem of taxpayers and the protection of personal property. For adequate funding to the higher education institutions, the state should revise the expenditure of the organizations, reduce wastage if it was noted, provide sufficient means to ensure that subsidy to the specific students reached them and also review particular terms such as student span in higher education institutions.

Just like any other government-sponsored facility, higher education facilities are likely to engage in wastage. Wastage in higher education institutions could be as a result of buying resources that are not worth and also participate in activities that lack impact on student life concerning their academic life (Woodhall 34). The state government should, therefore, have established a task force that could revise the expenditure of the institutions. Wasteful spending could thereby be revised and scrapped from the budget. The scrapping of the lavish budget could not have a negative impact in the facilities after all and learning would progress as accorded.

Again, it is hard for a state government to approximate the exact costs that are used by a student when they are on campus. One of the best ways that the government could have used instead of scrapping the budget without adequate information was to conduct a background check of the number of students in their higher education institutions (Tilak 27). Understanding the number of students that are in the state could have allowed the state to come up with a comprehensive plan of the subsidy that is required by each student and conduct the budget slash from an informed point. The budget slash could since not have been that negatively impacting on the institutions as affordability would not be a problem with a government subsidy put in place.

Lastly, the revision of the terms of service is always a cure for budget problems. A high probability of the extreme spending in higher education facilities as articulated by the governor could have been as a result of students overstaying in schools. The states ministry of education should, therefore, have been assigned the responsibility of revising the years of learning accorded to every student concerning their courses (Dougherty et al. 8). Cutting short the years spent in education for instance from four years to three years would ensure that the expenses per student were reduced. Consequently, the budget allocation for higher education centers would be lowered without affecting the process of learning directly.


In conclusion, higher education is such an instrumental aspect of every society. It is the highest level of education where professionals are made and hence should be safeguarded b...

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