Tag Archives: UW Madison

Madison Initiative: Exceeding Expectations

Last week marked the first Madison Initiative Oversight Committee meeting since the board presented our final recommendations last spring to then Chancellor Biddy Martin. Our committee has since been reconstituted to focus more on the “oversight” of the current projects being funded rather than the allocation of the differential tuition collected. For those unfamiliar with the Madison Initiative it is a differential tuition model which started in 2010 aimed at targeting high impact and transformative curriculum development on campus as well as closing the $20 million gap in need based financial aid. More info can be found here

I received a breakdown of different data from my last meeting that I felt compelled to share. They are very remarkable and I’m very proud to have been part of this process. Look below at some of the great things we’ve been able to do in only a few short years. The full report can be found here.


Financial Aid:

  • $5.2 million (8500 students) given the held harmless grant.
  • $8.4 million (2200 students) need based financial aid-. Average grant $3900 per student
  • 36 students from rural Wisconsin received grants of $7000 each
  • An additional lucky 350 students will be receiving grants of around $2000 each at the end of the semester. Talk about a great surprise Christmas gift!

I think it is quite clear that the MIU has met if not exceeded the goals and expectations laid out by former Chancellor Martin. With these types of numbers it is hard to believe there was a sizable, albeit often uninformed, chunk of the student population who were against the ideas behind the MIU.  Nevertheless this is not an end all be all fix to our University. We much continue to ask for a larger investment from the state and to be provided with the tools and flexibilities needed to run an efficient, competitive, and culturally rich university.

If you have a story about how you’ve been impacted by the MIU please share below.



Response to “Legal Deal” memo: Apologies Needed

By now many of you have probably read the NPS post about graduate school Representative Thom Duncan’s “Legal Deal” memo. If you haven’t please click the link here to read the post.

I don’t think I have ever been more offended in my 4 years of service within ASM. Not only does he personally attack trusted friends and colleagues (Matt Manes, Brandon Williams, Sarah Neibart, Tyler Junger) he also bashes my entire constituency. (the students of Letters and Sciences)

In the document Duncan reveals why he has reservations regarding the creation of a Student Legal Service Center for all students at UW Madison:

 “Possible question one subquestion could be: were you fuckin’ wasted and did something adolescent?  Were you subject to your unchecked testosterone induced rage or lust and act inappropriate?  Will no one bail you out, again?  Did you trash the shit out of your apartment and expect someone else to clean up for you?

Are we really sinking this kind of cash in for 19 year olds who can’t handle their liquor or can’t present themselves relatively decent in public?”

As a representative of undergrads in L&S I have never and will never think of my constituency as ‘adolescent’ or having ‘uncheck testosterone induced rage or lust’.  The students of Letters and Science are the backbone of this institution and to belittle them and to deny them legal services are actions unbecoming of an elected representative.

On behalf of the students of the College of Letters and Sciences I am asking for Duncan’s full and sympatric apology immediately to the undergraduate students he offended. Additionally an apology is due to my colleagues, Manes, Williams, Neibart and Junger. Their service to the students of ASM has been unparalleled. As it was noted at NPS their combined service includes but is not limited to 3 SSFC Chairs, 2 SSFC Secretaries and 2 ASM Chairs.

On an aside, Duncan states  “I have serious reservations about this “service,”  because of its vague nature at this point, and I’d argue that we should employ stall tactic”.

Here you will find a link to the 51 page document outlining the plans for the Student Legal Services Center. Hope it’s not to ‘vague’

Oh Hey you Can’t do This Either…

Another piece of legislation being introduced at tonight’s council meeting is a motion to rescind ASM’s endorsement of The New Badger Partnership. The sponsors (Representative Pan and Representative DeQuattro) have issues with process in which the 17th session voted on this a few weeks ago. (Even though it was 100% legal)

Below is the actual language that the 17th session voted and passed. It seems as if Representative Pan and Representative DeQuattro are against the following:

“Be it resolved that, the ASM Student Council supports the proposed public authority model so long as it:

  • Maintains Shared Governance as articulated in 36.09(5), including control over the disposition of student fees and the right to organize as students see fit.
  • Includes 2 students on the Board of Trustees.
  • Maintains cost to continue for UW Madison
  • Supports an increase in need based financial aid.
  • Supports fairness in hiring and pay equity, unequivocally supports academic freedom, ensures fairness in agreements with private entities”

What’s more is that 18th session CAN’T do this. What this legislation is essentially looking to do is rescind someone else’s opinion. According to simple parliamentary procedure this cannot happen. Given that not everyone is as up to par with parli pro I’ll give some slack there however I’m a little baffled by the logic in what they are attempting to do. How can you rescind an opinion that you never made? Seems like a purely politically motivated action to me.

Politics as Usual

It was recently brought to my attention that a blog post by Max Love had wild accusations about me conspiring with the administration against student interests. Where I’d like to say I’m surprised, I’m really not. This nothing more than politics as usual for Love, who likes to smear any possibly of a paranoia type conspiracy theory.  This has nothing to do with Chair Williams or Vice Chair Johnson. These were my actions alone and in no way is a conspiracy. Furthermore, his post is taken grossly out of context.  Yes I did say I would keep the documents ‘secret’ and in retrospect maybe that wasn’t the best word choice, however the goal with conceding this point was to at a minimum get some form of information from  the Chancellor’s office. (Compared to nothing if I had promised to spread the documents widely). Additionally, my willingness to hold these documents close reflects Martin’s desire to keep things not public because they were not ready for public consumption and she was still negotiating with Governor Walker. It’s important to note the New Badger Partnership is a working proposal so some things were not actually Martin’s policy yet.

I implore you all to read all the emails in their full context. If you do you can note a few things. Without my email to Chancellor Martin’s Chief of Staff on that date regarding this issue a few things would have never happened. Most notably:

  • An immediate meeting with Provost DeLuca, Dean of Student Lori Berquam, and Legislative Assistant to the Chancellor Don Nelson. (In which all the parties cleared the schedule for the day to meet with top ASM leadership)
  • Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, Dean Berquam, and Don Nelson present at a student council meeting to answer questions regarding the NBP.
  • Chancellor Martin to come to the open forum on January 24th

You know, I bet it’s really easy for Max Love to lob bombs from the sidelines. After all, when he’s not being caught by Jason Smathers anonymously commenting about campus politics, he’s too busy trying to create ASM drama. His position on the outside looking in lets him avoid producing a serious alternative vision to the Badger Partnership. By not engaging in a serious debate but instead, rushing to his favorite fetish – creating paranoid theories about student government – he has taken the serious debate and poisoned the well.  I’m the Chief of Staff to the Chair of ASM. I have to navigate the political waters to get things done. But Love and company need to take a serious look at themselves. This is how far they’ve come? They don’t have a coherent intellectual framework to oppose something intended to help UW-Madison so they came up with this. Another failed political attack. Look how far it’s gotten them over the years.

I’ll stick to getting things done.

Badger Partnership: ASM Leadership on the ball

I wanted to give a quick shout out and thank you to Associated Students of Madison Chair Brandon Williams and Vice Chair Adam Johnson on their great work putting pressure on the UW administration, (most notably Chancellor Martin, Provost DeLuca, Dean of Students Lori Berquam, Vice Chancellor Darrell Bazzell, and Don Nelson) to release more information regarding the Badger Partnership concept. Today after weeks of talks campus officials updated the website and released the this document outlining the different state statues that affect the university in a number of ways.

The question is now, how will student council respond tonight when they take up a vote on Rep. Zinn’s poorly written legislation demanding just this? Zinn’s legislation is wrought with incorrect statements and overall shows a gross misunderstanding of the state budget process. I anxiously await for tonight. In the meantime I’m glad to have strong leaders like Williams and Johnson at the head of ASM.

Establishing Lifelong Connections

This summer I have been working with Dean of Students Lori Berquam along with folks from the around the university to “develop and deliver recommendations on how UW-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Association, and the UW Foundation can enhance and transform the affinity UW-Madison students have for the University.” Basically what this means is, how can the university support or offer ways to make students at UW Madison become more engaged on campus and feel more a part of the university. Continue reading

My New Blog

Welcome to my new blog, simply and aptly titled “Tom Templeton”. (Mostly because I’m not creative enough to come up with a catchy blog title and I don’t believe in hiding behind false monikers)  I have been toying around with the concept of starting a blog for quite some time now and credit must be given to Tom Krieglstein for convincing me to finally take action.  Many of you are probably thinking what to expect to find here given the overly saturated blogosphere that exists in Madison. The fact of the matter is I don’t fully know the scope of this new blog.  My intent for now is to write about things I am doing around campus (my work with ASM, university committees, university departments, and other student groups) and share them with the world. Additionally, I want this blog to be fun and interactive which means I plan to experiment with video blogs and other types of multimedia to share news about the UW and Madison and hopefully you, the reader, will be engaged enough to let me know what type of topics to cover. I don’t know how frequently I’ll be posting but as long as this new project is fun for me I hope to continue it long into the future.