[Updated (2/4/2015, 6:44 p.m.) with Mr. Walker’s statement.]
Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, said late Wednesday that his proposal to remove the public-service focus of the public university system’s mission was a “drafting error.”
Earlier on Wednesday, it was revealed that Mr. Walker had proposed replacing the so-called Wisconsin Idea, which devotes the system to reaching “every family in the state,” with language that puts meeting “the state’s workforce needs” front and center, the Journal Sentinel reported. After that proposal drew an uproar, Mr. Walker tweeted this at 5:59 p.m., Eastern time:
The Wisconsin Idea will continue to thrive. The final version of budget will fix drafting error - Mission statement will include WI Idea.
— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) February 4, 2015
Amid an already-contentious relationship between the Republican governor and the University of Wisconsin System, the episode triggered worries about the future of the Wisconsin Idea.
Scott Walker strikes ‘truth,’ ‘human condition’ from #Wisconsin Idea http://t.co/fd7ohveFyz pic.twitter.com/bbrFPvW2An
— Wis. State Journal (@WiStateJournal) February 4, 2015
Apparently in response to the news, the system’s president, Raymond W. Cross, and the chancellor of the system’s Madison flagship, Rebecca M. Blank, issued the following tweets:
The Wisconsin Idea is embedded in our DNA. It is so much more than words on a page. We will work to preserve it in all of its forms.
— Ray Cross (@RayWCross) February 4, 2015
The Wisconsin Idea is— and always will be-- central to the mission of this university.
— Becky Blank (@BeckyBlank) February 4, 2015
Earlier this week Mr. Walker sparked a debate over professors’ duties when he suggested they consider teaching one more class per semester. That came amid the fallout of Mr. Walker’s proposal that $300-million be cut from the system over two years.
Correction (2/4/2015, 5:39 p.m.): This post originally misstated the amount Governor Walker has proposed cutting from the university system’s budget. The amount is $300-million, not $250-million, over two years. The post has been updated to reflect this correction.