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The Kerfuffle at UWSP

My daughter went to University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point and my son is currently a student there. I have a vested interest in what happens there. Actually, as a resident of Wisconsin, I have a vested interest in what happens in our state university system. And there are things happening at UWSP.

Budgets are tight at USWP, as at all universities. The university has proposed to eliminate a number of majors, including history, English, German, French, Spanish, political science, music literature, other humanities, and other majors. In addition, they have proposed adding majors such as chemical engineering, fire science, marketing, and more.

What's the problem? They're just realigning for the 21st century, right? Not so much. UWSP professes to be a liberal arts college. Students come there for a liberal arts degree, not a technical degree, even those who leave with a bachelor's of science degree. A liberal arts education presumes that you have a basic understanding of history and literature and the arts. Yes, those classes can be taught by instructors, but they are best taught by, or at least supervised by, professors who have dedicated their lives to the further study and understanding of the the subject. A historian has a passion for history to the point of trying to expand the field of knowledge in the area of history. The same with literature, the arts, and the sciences. I can attest to this from my own college education. I learned history and literature so well because I had professors who thought that the world revolved around these subjects.

Today, the students are taking to the campus to demonstrate their feelings about the subject. Not only are they marching on campus, but they are signing up other students to vote in the next election. I commend them for standing up for what they believe and for being involved in this process.

My son is a business major, but is also getting a music major. He supports the liberal arts and doesn't want to see them get watered down at UWSP. Let's support him and the rest of the students by calling our Assembly representatives and letting them know that we want our smaller regional universities to remain fully funded because it benefits the students and, ultimately, the state.


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