Skip to main content

Category: Opinion

Opinion: Legislation would make obesity medications more widely available and help reduce inequities in care

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Dr. Luke Funk is an associate professor of surgery at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Srividya Kidambi is an associate professor and chief in the Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital. Dr. Christopher Weber is an obesity medicine specialist practicing in Milwaukee.

Important lessons for success in graduate school (opinion)

Inside Higher Education

When we hire graduate assistants at the University of Wisconsin at Madison Graduate School, we expect them to do a deep dive into graduate education administration — but what often surprises students is how much the experience prepares them for future careers.

Good start toward a grand promenade on State Street

Wisconsin State Journal

In a welcome change, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway unveiled plans last week to “likely” remove city buses from the lower half of State Street in Downtown Madison. Doing so would make way for a true pedestrian mall with cafes, public art, live music, trees, kiosks and fun events — without any motorized vehicle traffic. The street is already off-limits to most cars and trucks, but not buses.

Tom Still: Wisconsin must step up to compete for federal R&D dollars

Wisconsin State Journal

States around the country are gearing up for projects that could pair engineering schools and industry, but the dean of UW-Madison’s College of Engineering warned this week the state will be at a disadvantage unless there’s more investment in infrastructure needed to compete. “If we don’t act soon, we’re going to lose out,” said Ian Robertson, dean of Madison’s 4,500-student engineering college. “Others are going to get ahead of us. They’re all gearing up to go after the Endless Frontier money. It’s that simple.”

The War on Drugs Is 50 Years Old

The Nation

Maybe now, half a century later, it’s finally time to end the war on drug users—repeal the heavy penalties for possession, pardon the millions of nonviolent offenders, replace mass incarceration with mandatory drug treatment, restore voting rights to convicts and ex-convicts alike, and, above all, purge those persistent stereotypes of the dangerous Black male from our public discourse and private thoughts.If only…

Alfred W. McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Letter: McIntosh was best choice for the job

Wisconsin State Journal

Some in Madison are criticizing the UW athletic department for hiring the well-qualified Chris McIntosh as the new athletic director because he is white. This is an insult to both McIntosh and the selection committee.

OPINION: UW remains out of step … and behind


When we learned last fall that Alvarez might be retiring, we were concerned that the University would again engage in a process that would result in another applicant being chosen for the AD position that would not be a person of color, regardless of how credentialed and experienced such applicants might be.

Editorial: UW Health nurses should be able to collectively bargain for themselves and their patients

The Capital Times

The nurses at UW Hospitals and Clinics have been among the greatest heroes of the coronavirus pandemic that is finally beginning to ease after an often overwhelming year of infection and death, testing and treatment, recovery and vaccination. Nurses have been widely praised for their humanity, for their caring, for their sacrifices. We have no doubt about the sincerity of those words. But now it is time to honor these heroes with something more than words. They need a place at the bargaining table.

What Honest Abe Learned From Geometry

Wall Street Journal

Knowing geometry protects you: Once you’ve experienced the sharp click of an honest-to-goodness proof, you’ll never fall for this trick again. Tell your “logical” opponent to go square a circle.—Mr. Ellenberg is a professor of mathematics at the University of Wisconsin. This essay is adapted from his new book “Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy and Everything Else,” which will be published May 25 by Penguin Press.

Opinion: Paying for college is difficult, but UWM is trying to do something about it

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Alyssa Huglen’s May 17 story in the Journal Sentinel highlights a problem that has long concerned us at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Students with limited financial resources take longer to graduate and are less likely to graduate than their peers, and many struggle with debt from college loans. But what the story did not address are the extensive efforts UWM is making to help students from low-income families.

How President Biden’s rescue plan could help poor kids in Wisconsin

Journal Sentinel

These measures make public investments in children’s economic well-being, adding to those made for them in health care and education. The nation and our state are sure to be better off.

Tim Smeeding is the Lee Rainwater Distinguished Professor of Public Affairs and Economics at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and former director of the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Opinion: Animal testing should be banned

HS Insider LA Times

The skulls of living cats are drilled with holes to screw metal strainer posts into their heads, then steel coils are implanted into their eyes and finally, the cats are deafened in “sound localization” animal experiments. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals describes the horrific details of this inhumane experiment conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and adds that the lead experimenter did not expect to produce a clinical treatment or cure from their tests on animals.

Keep Tommy Thompson in charge of UW System — Jonathan Barry

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: Thompson is no “place holder.” He is a dynamic leader who is proving his value to UW System during these challenging times. Also, with Regent membership and leadership change underway, it seems advisable to retain Thompson’s steady hand and not dive into another national search now.

Opinion: UW-Madison chancellor and state legislators use digital dodges to hide records from the public

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In March, The Washington Post reported that University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank sought to move a conversation around the COVID-19 pandemic and students returning to campus in the fall to a private portal used by presidents and chancellors of the 14 Big Ten universities.

Paul Fanlund: Do science advocates share blame for anti-vaccination pushback?

The Capital Times

Professor Dietram Scheufele is an award-winning and nationally recognized expert on science communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and someone I’ve written about for years. He recently shared with me five thoughts about what could have been done differently to mitigate this stark divide over vaccine attitudes.

Badgers fans need to get vaccinated — Marilyn Lewis

Wisconsin State Journal

UW-Madison and Madison need a return of fans in stands this year to make money. May I humbly suggest the university immediately announce that only fully vaccinated fans will be allowed at its venues such as Camp Randall, the Kohl Center, the Field House and the LaBahn Arena.

Voter suppression bills are the first move in a bigger battle

The Hill

Fighting for the rights of African American voters is a task that is both daunting and never-ending. Discriminatory redistricting creates a cyclical process that weakens political power for Black voters and political officials. This tactic is as discriminatory and as noxious as any other suppression legislation used during Jim Crow.

Steven Wright served in the Voting Rights Section of the US Department of Justice for five years. He’s a clinical associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School.

Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy

Education Week

Written by John B. Diamond, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education and a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s education school, and Jennifer Cheatham, a senior lecturer on education and the co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former superintendent of the Madison school district in Wisconsin.

Reduced funding for history education is extremely problematic

Badger Herald

As a history student at UW-Madison, I have seen many of these issues first-hand. Because of fears that the recent economic crisis would cause a new round of sweeping cuts to history departments, almost every major history PhD program in the country accepted almost no new graduate students, or far fewer than usual. Declining opportunities for history teachers have caused many bright and wonderful students to seek other career paths.

Meditation is sorely needed on the UW-Madison campus

Daily Cardinal

As we approach the end of this semester, many students are left burned out, exhausted and overwhelmed with the seemingly endless demands of college. Coupled with the increasingly demanding academics, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated students’ existing feelings of continuous stress. In fact, 71% of college students have indicated increased anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is essential for students to find ways of dealing with these demanding stressors. This is where meditation comes into play!

UW must take greater responsibility for students’ financial health

Daily Cardinal

Outside of loan options, students typically turn to financial aid and scholarships to finance their education. UW-Madison has multiple “Wisconsin Promises” in place for in-state students that qualify for financial aid, like Bucky’s Tuition Promise Plus, Badger Promise and the Financial Aid Security Track.

Breaking backs, hopes for the future: How UW perpetuates prison labor

Daily Cardinal

Students have long told UW-Madison that “it is not enough for the University of Wisconsin System to demonstrate optical allyship … by means of posting on social media, tokenizing students of color and providing resources for students and alumni to combat racism on an individual level.” Instead, they have called for the UW to make good on their promises and deconstruct the systems that “uphold racial inequalities.”

House bill does little to protect our local elections

The Hill

The bill makes huge strides for American democracy. No one should claim that dark money and large-scale statewide voting barriers aren’t noxious. Indeed, experts estimate that voter identification requirements may disenfranchise millions of Americans, and such laws disproportionately harm poor voters and voters of color. But no one, except the federal government, has the capacity to ensure fair federal elections at the local level. And sadly, For the People Act fails to do so.

Steven Wright served in the Voting Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice for five years. He currently teaches Law and English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Washington’s Delusion of Endless World Dominion

This current version of the Suez syndrome is, nonetheless, anything but the usual. Thanks to longterm imperial development based on fossil fuels, planet Earth itself is now changing in ways dangerous to any power, no matter how imperial or ascendant. So, sooner or later, both Washington and Beijing will have to recognize that we are now in a distinctly dangerous new world where, in the decades to come, without some kind of coordination and global cooperation to curtail climate change, old imperial truths of any sort are likely to be left in the attic of history in a house coming down around all our ears.

Alfred McCoyAlfred McCoy is the J.R.W. Smail Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A TomDispatch regular, he is the author of In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power and Policing America’s Empire: The United States, the Philippines, and the Rise of the Surveillance State.

UW administration reaction to Atlanta shootings falls short of what students need

Badger Herald

The intent of this statement is there, but the diluted semantics don’t provide much comfort. First and foremost, it’s clear they’re avoiding the word racism. When have you heard the term ‘bias crime’ before? It sounds like someone typed ‘hate crime’ but was told to substitute ‘hate’ for a more watered-down word. In this situation, who would that be serving?

UW should work with tech colleges — Margaret Kolbek

Wisconsin State Journal

Letter to the editor: As a former technical college instructor and wife of a 30-plus-year University of Wisconsin System branch campus instructor, I’ve had a long affiliation with both systems. Our three children attended the two-year UW System campus in our county.