The cancellation of in-person classes at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Richland campus next year” should not be read” as a cautionary tale for other branch campuses.
That’s according to UW System President Jay Rothman, who appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show” Thursday. He said the decision was “based on facts” specific to that location.
Quoted: It is a highly consequential election because it’s going to determine the balance of the court until at least 2025,” said Robert Yablon, an associate professor at the University Wisconsin-Madison Law School.
Although Wisconsin’s Supreme Court elections are officially non-partisan, UW-Madison political science professor Howard Schweber notes highly partisan issues are at stake. That includes abortion rights, gerrymandering and the way elections are run.
“Even 15 years ago, Wisconsin judicial elections really were kind of genteel affairs,” Schweber said. “And then they got very, very viciously partisan, primarily because Republicans and conservative groups made a very concentrated effort to capture the court, through what in Wisconsin, at least, were really unprecedented styles of campaign ads, highly partisan appeals.”
Schweber said that strategy proved largely successful, although Democrats were able to narrow the court’s conservative majority in 2020 when Democrat-backed Jill Karofsky beat former Justice Kelly. Kelly, who’s running this again this year, was first appointed to the state highest court by Republican Gov. Scott Walker to fill a vacancy.
Noted: The survey is not a scientific poll, and its results cannot be generalized to the entire population of Wisconsin, but the responses do provide a snapshot of what was on the mind of voters during the survey period from June 28 to Nov. 8. The project is a collaboration of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (and USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin papers), Wisconsin Public Radio and the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
A proposed development that would bring a new soccer stadium to downtown Milwaukee should include guarantees of good wages and a path to union representation for workers in the stadium district in return for public subsidies, a new report recommends.
The report, “Worker Power Levels the Playing Field,” was released Tuesday by COWS, a think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It says taxpayer-funded support for the proposed Milwaukee soccer stadium project, dubbed the Iron District, should come with strings that ensure local hiring and strong job standards even after the project is built out.
“It’s important for Milwaukee to see itself as a national leader in this way and to reapply the lessons from the Deer District as new development is considered,” says Laura Dresser, associate director of COWS. Dresser is coauthor of the report along with Pablo Aquiles-Sanchez, a COWS research analyst.
Noted: At UW-Madison, the most selective school in the state, it’s too early to say what, if any, academic recovery will be needed, according to John Zumbrunnen, the university’s vice provost for teaching and learning. There hasn’t been a spike in tutoring sessions. Nor has there been a higher rate of D and F grades awarded. But the university offered two semesters of a pass/fail grading policy, which “muddies the data picture for us.”
That’s not to say Zumbrunnen hasn’t fielded concerns from some instructors. In math, there’s been a slightly larger share of students placing into pre-calculus instead of calculus. A STEM instructor told him this year’s crop of students scored lower on a basic exam than in past years. He’s heard from a social sciences instructor who felt that students this fall weren’t quite as ready to read at a college level than in past years.
Quoted: “It just is really not possible to engage in much fraudulent activity without being noticed very quickly,” said Barry Burden, a political science professor and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
The state commission that oversees employment relations ruled Friday that UW Health hospital is not required by law to negotiate a collective bargaining contract or recognize its recently created nurses union.
Noted: My mother moved to Madison from Chicago just over 50 years ago to pursue a college degree and provide a brighter future for my sister and me. The Gee family now consists of three generations of University of Wisconsin-Madison graduates. The university, and a small but thriving community of Black UW alumni, offered opportunities, resources and friendships that allowed us to create lives of unlimited promise, rooted in Black excellence and Black culture.
Young voters made their voices heard during the midterms last week, turning out in relatively high numbers in an election that produced the first congressperson from Generation Z. But university students and voting rights advocates say voters on college campuses faced far too many difficulties trying to cast their ballots.
Quoted: “It seems like a very remote possibility. No one’s really talked about it in a meaningful way. However, in the last four years, we’ve really seen the rise of hardball tactics between Republicans in the Legislature and Gov. Evers,” said Barry Burden, University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor and director of the university’s Elections Research Center.
Burden said though the bar is high to impeach state officials, especially high-ranking ones elected statewide, politics in Wisconsin has become even more of a blood sport in recent years under divided government, making anything a possibility.
“The last four years have not really been cooperative lawmaking in any way,” Burden said. “There really is not a premise for cooperation between the branches and now Republicans have a bigger and more conservative majority, they’re going to feel emboldened. So it’s possible that some of what seemed like extreme tactics, like impeachment, might be on the table.”
Noted: Additionally, $174,000 in funding will go toward scholarships at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Nursing to establish a pipeline for future school nurses.
Quoted: Laura Dresser, associate director of the COWS economic think tank at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the labor shortage may make some companies more likely to violate protections for minors.
“It is probably the case that tight labor markets mean that there may be more sorts of violations like this because firms are desperate to fill jobs and may cut corners in order to do so,” she said.
Child labor laws help to ensure that minors are able to gain an education and receive a high school diploma, Dresser said.
“If we’re going to prioritize and require that students be enrolled in school and do everything we can to encourage them to graduate, then kids shouldn’t be working on overnight shifts (and) they shouldn’t be working excessive numbers of hours,” she said.
Noted: Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison estimated in an August report that patients in 42 of the state’s 72 counties would see the distance they have to travel to get an abortion increase by an average of 82 miles, one-way. In Milwaukee and Dane counties, which accounted for 56% of the state’s abortions before the Dobbs decision, residents would have to travel 70 and 120 more miles to reach an abortion clinic, respectively. In the state’s 30 other counties, the distance to an abortion clinic didn’t change because they were already closest to an out-of-state clinic.
Quoted: Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, attributed high turnout in recent congressional elections in part to the effect of former President Donald Trump, who was elected in 2016.
“Increasing turnout everywhere, not just in Wisconsin, really is a phenomenon that happened after Trump took office,” said Burden, who directs the university’s Elections Research Center. “He’s no longer in office, but I think is enough of a presence in American politics and it was enough of a factor in this year’s elections that it continued to bring out lots of Democratic voters and lots of Republican voters.”
Quoted: In fact, the state’s higher education system is a major reason the industry is thriving, according to Dr. Zachary Morris, a researcher and associate professor for the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.
He said colleges and universities throughout Wisconsin are producing the highly-skilled workers that the biohealth sector needs, and research being done at those institutions also is helping to strengthen the industry.
“The universities, through the faculty, are in many cases steering or developing innovative technologies that these companies are then helping to spin out and commercialize,” he said.
It looks as if the University of Wisconsin-Madison is getting ready to close down the School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers, which has graduated almost 600 budding farmers after training them in grazing practices as well as business planning for their new operations.
The school was founded and directed by Dick Cates, a Spring Green beef farmer who also served on the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection’s citizen policy board and various state sustainability panels.
Quoted: “There is substantial voter engagement in this year’s elections,” said Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, “but the larger number of early votes compared to 2018 is more a sign of changing preferences about the method of voting than a sign of much higher turnout,” Burden said.
Quoted: Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said this election may see a “different style of observer” who is more aggressive about wanting to have close inspection of the process and is potentially disruptive about challenging voters.
“These are not nonpartisan, disinterested people hoping to help out the voting process,” he said. “These are people who start with the premise of denying or being skeptical of the results in 2020 and that’s what’s motivating them to be involved.”
Quoted: Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said there is not a lot of pressure on Michels to provide more details because he will be working with a Republican-controlled Legislature.
“Michels has not served in government, so he is getting educated during the course of the campaign about what he might do as governor,” Burden said.
Burden also said a broader trend emerging in 2022 is candidates “not really making themselves open to public questioning,” noting the race’s single debate, which hasn’t happened since the 1990s.
“Candidates have decided to package themselves through press releases, controlled events and social media, which means they’re not really called upon offer specifics,” Burden said. “That’s not just a Wisconsin thing — that is happening across the country this year.”
Quoted: “There could likely be big changes to election law in Wisconsin between 2022 and 2024,” said Barry Burden, a professor of political science and director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin Madison. “There’s an array of things that have been proposed in not very concrete ways.”
Quoted: Ross Milton, an assistant professor at La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the pass-through provision is “still a hotly debated topic among tax policy people.”
“I think these pass-through provisions have been criticized because much of the benefit of them goes to very high income and/or high wealth households,” Milton said. “And presumably the Johnson family is a high-income household.”
Noted: I started as a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in September 2021, and instantly I found the men’s water polo team to be of my homes on campus. I have never been the fastest swimmer or the highest scorer on the team, and most of the guys are at least half a foot taller than me. But I love this sport and I love my team to pieces, whether it is the exhilaration of setting up my teammates up for a great goal or joking with them on the pool deck. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. They accept me as their teammate
Quoted: Prior to the Great Recession, University of Wisconsin-Madison applied economics professor and community development specialist Steven Deller said there was a typical “flow” of new houses being developed.
Construction of new housing “plummeted” after the housing bubble burst in 2008 and never came back, Deller said.
He said many of the developers in the starter home market were crushed during the Great Recession, banks have become hesitant to make loans for starter home developments and the cost of building materials continues to rise.
“The economics are just not in favor of building those starter homes,” he said. “And that’s where a lot of communities are really struggling because the developers that they do have that are interested are saying, ‘I just can’t make it pencil out.'”
Quoted: Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also coming up with ways to solve the current training problem, but they’re also beginning to worry about future recruitment.
Dr. Laura Jacques, an assistant professor and the director of medical student education at UW-Madison’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, said the repercussions could be felt for years.
“I’m worried that we’re going to have a challenging time recruiting the best residents to our program because of these concerns, and not just for obstetrics and gynecology, but for all types of medicine,” she said.
Quoted: Julie Underwood, former dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Education, said the proposal would require a massive amount of money to fund while also meeting constitutional obligations to provide adequate public school education.
“If you take the 133,000 students that are in private schools right now and give them vouchers, and you run two parallel structures, I don’t know how the Legislature would would manage to fund that,” Underwood said. “And if they further reduce the amount of funding giving to schools at this time, I really think that we’re going to go below the standard that the Wisconsin Supreme Court set.”
Quoted: “They vote for the Democrats. And it’s been pretty consistent,” said Marquez, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison specializing in Chicano and Latino studies.
“The Democrats have to have a good strategy for reaching out to Latino voters. They have to make contact on the ground. They have to convince them that the election is important, that their vote matters, and that they should go to all of this trouble to get out and vote for a party that oftentimes doesn’t deliver,” he said.
A coalition of private universities in Wisconsin is canceling classes for students on election day as part of an effort to boost voter turnout. We talk about the “Why Bother, Wisconsin?” campaign, and hear why they want other universities to join them.
Quoted: Some studies have shown more than 60% of the inflation Americans are feeling today can be directly attributed to the supply chain shortages of last year, said Mark Copelovitch, a political science and public affairs professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Second is Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Ukraine is a major exporter of grain and Russia is a major supplier of oil, so wartime disruptions and U.S sanctions on Russia have contributed to rising food and gas prices.
Stimulus spending has also been a factor.
“The other part of the inflation is the demand side, especially when we were all sitting home, spending out stimulus checks when we could not go out (during the pandemic),” Copelovitch said.
Quoted: Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the CDC and director of the Preventive Medicine Residency Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said COVID-19 vaccines have turned out to not be as effective as initially hoped but “the one aspect that every scientist agrees is that this is one of the safest vaccines ever produced, if not the safest vaccine.”
“I think it’s very worrisome that any politician would view information that is not scientifically sound or that maybe comes from a conspiracy theory,” he said. “I would be very concerned if that information resonates with their base, because then we’ll have policy that is being determined not by science and evidence but by superstition and by conspiracy, and that should be concerning for everybody.”
Former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, who served as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary and has endorsed Michels, promoted COVID-19 vaccines to college students while he was president of the University of Wisconsin System during the coronavirus pandemic but did not mandate them.
Thompson said Friday he hadn’t seen Michels’ comments on the CDC and COVID-19 vaccines because he has been traveling out of state. He said spreading rumors about COVID-19 vaccine mandates is a bad idea.
“This rumor now about CDC requiring children being vaccinated should not be spread,” Thompson said.
Overall enrollment across Wisconsin colleges and universities fell around 3 percent this fall, according to preliminary data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Researchers say national enrollment declines have slowed to pre-pandemic, but they were surprised by the lack of a rebound.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) once again argued President Joe Biden does not have the authority to enact a policy that could cost as much as $1 trillion without Congressional authorization.
Noted: More than 2,150 people have taken the Main Street Agenda survey. Overall, the future of democracy is the No. 1 concern followed by climate change and abortion. The survey is not a scientific poll, and its results cannot be generalized to the entire population of Wisconsin, but the responses do provide a snapshot of what’s on the minds of voters this fall.
As part of the collaboration of Wisconsin Public Radio, the La Follette School of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Ideas Lab, we’ve held two events in Milwaukee as well as town halls in Pewaukee and Green Bay. The final event will be Nov. 1 in Wausau.
According to data from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s SSTAR Lab (Student Success Through Applied Research), more than 715,000 Wisconsin residents owe an average of $32,230 in federal student loan debt.
Quoted: Ross Milton is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs. He said the study offers a clear picture of the state’s tax levels.
“There’s a sense among many people that Wisconsin is a high-tax state, and that we should change that,” he said. “This report reflects the fact that Wisconsin is really a moderate tax state.”
Milton said states that relied heavily on hospitality and tourism taxes during the pandemic may have fared worse due to closures and stay-at-home orders. But Wisconsin relies heavily on property taxes, which remained relatively stable at that time.
As the demand for nurses grows across Wisconsin, nursing education programs are struggling to churn out enough graduates — but not for lack of applicants. Instead, schools are facing dwindling numbers of faculty and limited classroom space, forcing them to turn away prospective students.
Quoted: Keith Findley, a professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School, said the state set up the timeline of the events and established the identity of the driver. But he’s not sure what Brooks will do to present his case, as he hasn’t given his opening statement yet. His defense is set to begin with that.
“It’s really hard to anticipate what he’s going to do because I don’t have any idea of what his theory of defense is or what kind of claims he’s going to make,” Findley said.
“Opening statements are not evidence, so whatever he asserts in there, he’ll have to back it up with evidence,” he said.
Noted: During a September campaign stop at a coffee shop near the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the college Democrats who came out to support Evers were well aware of his vetoes. Several said they were worried about the dramatic changes that could be in store for state government if Evers were to lose.
“I think in a democracy, you need balancing voices,” said Rianna Mukherjee, a senior at the UW-Madison majoring in political science. “Our Republican Legislature doesn’t balance voices.”
“Without a Democrat as governor … I’m concerned that Republicans will have too much control,” said Elliot Petroff, a sophomore studying political science. “We need to be able to veto things and there’s no other opposition that can do it right now.”
Some students mentioned specific bills Evers vetoed, including some that would have restricted abortions prior to the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down Roe v. Wade. Grant Hall, a sophomore studying computer science and data science, referenced the election bills.
“I fear that if he is not reelected, voting rights in Wisconsin will take a major hit,” Hall said. “I think those bills would pass pretty easily, and that’s terrifying.”
Noted: These issues are important to Wisconsin voters ahead of the Nov. 8 elections. In a summer Marquette University Law School poll, 66% of respondents said they see water quality issues as a statewide concern. A survey conducted late last year by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs found 63% of respondents said state government should be doing more to combat climate change, including 27% of Republican respondents.
Senator Ron Johnson and Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes faced off Thursday night during the TMJ4 Senate Debate. The debate was broadcast across the state and the country.
At UW-Madison, the Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership hosted a debate watch party for students. About two dozen students showed up and were engaged for the entire debate.
Quoted: “I think it’s fear about the other side winning. Democrats are so eager to have Ron Johnson out of office. They have seen him move in a more radical direction and in favor of the kind of style of governing that Trump was engaged in,” said Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Barnes is, I think, raising concern among Republicans who don’t want to see what they view as a radical agenda come to Washington.”
Quoted: David Canon, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told us by email that it’s not uncommon for a candidate to shift positions after winning a primary or so close to a general election.
“Michels clearly has switched his position on abortion, saying that he would sign a bill with exceptions for rape and incest (after previously saying he did not support exceptions),” Canon said. “We are seeing this all over the country with candidates moving more to the center for the general election.”
Quoted: “We know that our needs change from month to month,” said Roberts Crall, who works at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “So one month, it might be that families need a little bit of extra cash to pay for gas and the next month, it might be for rent and the month after that it might be for diapers or school supplies. And so giving people that flexibility to be able to manage their own budget seemed really important and (an) important idea to test.”
City officials are partnering with UW-Madison’s Institute for Research on Poverty and the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania to compare outcomes for families getting the payments to those in a control group. Participating households got debit cards to receive the payments, and researchers plan to study how people spent the funds (which will published as broad categories) as well as how the payments affected overall wellbeing, Roberts Crall said.
Quoted: The holdover effect diminishes voters’ power to shape the executive branch when governors don’t have the ability to appoint people who actually serve, said Miriam Seifter, an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-director of the State Democracy Research Initiative. And if it becomes a widespread practice, it could affect the responsiveness and accountability of government officials.
“There’s two different things going on here,” she said. “One is the situation where individuals assert the power to stay in office after the term has expired. The other is the Senate refusing to confirm appointees. If either of those things happen in isolation or rarely, neither one is democracy-altering. If these happen systematically and across the board … you would start to see the constraints of gubernatorial power.”
Gov. Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced a $16 million, statewide investment Wednesday to improve maternal and infant health, especially among people of color.
The funding, largely made possible through the American Rescue Plan Act, will be split between the state health department’s Maternal and Child Health program, the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health. Each entity will receive $5.5 million.
The MCW endowment fund and UW-Madison will use the funding to also support community grants for programs that focus on the social conditions that contribute to racial disparities in Wisconsin’s maternal and infant mortality rates.
Quoted: Julie Underwood, former chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Education, served on the Blue Ribbon Commission and is currently pushing for 90% coverage, in her role as president of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools.
“It is a federal mandate to educate all children with disabilities; we have to provide them a free appropriate public education, as we should,” Underwood said. “But when the state stepped back from funding that more and more, it became more and more expensive for local school districts to make good on that promise.”
Noted: One of the major polluters, Sonoda said, is the fossil fuel industry. Across the country, coal-fired and gas power plants make up a third of greenhouse gas emissions, according to a 2020 University of Wisconsin-Madison study.
According to the UW-Madison study, transitioning to 100 percent clean energy would save $21 billion per year by averting health issues. That change, the study said, would prevent nearly 2,000 premature deaths, 650 respiratory emergency room visits and 34,400 cases of asthma exacerbation each year.
Quoted: “What the Wisconsin Supreme Court said is that to the extent that these ballots are being dropped off with election officials, that it has to be the voters themselves that do it and not others,” said Robert Yablon, associate professor and co-director of the State Democracy Research Initiative at University of Wisconsin Madison School of Law. “But they specifically didn’t rule on whether that is also true when an absentee ballot is put in the mail. There just is not a definitive state level word at this point.”
“There are some people who just can’t physically get up to put it in the mail,” Newcomer said. “There’s a reason why they vote absentee. It is difficult for them.”
Jair Alvarez is a litigation attorney providing corporate and criminal law counsel and representation in Madison, operating his own practice since graduating from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2014. As a law school student, he volunteered at the National Immigrant Justice Center.
Luz del Carmen Arroyo Calderon is Retention Initiatives and Student Engagement (RISE) Student Success Manager at Madison College. She grew up in a small town in Mexico and was 12 when she moved to Milwaukee with her mom. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010 and taught in the Madison Metropolitan School District as a Bilingual Resource Specialist, Bilingual Resource Teacher and Dual Language Immersion Teacher until 2017, when she joined the staff at Madison College.
Kattia Jimenez is the owner of Mount Horeb Hemp LLC, a USDA certified organic hemp farm. She is a host of the Hemp Can Do It podcast and is a guest lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural & Life Sciences.
Noted: There are over 6,000 dairy farms in the state, he said. According to a University of Wisconsin-Madison study, dairy generates nearly half of Wisconsin’s agricultural revenue each year. Over 150,000 people work in the industry, making up 4.2 percent of the state’s total workforce.
Dr. Mariana Pacheco Ortiz is a professor of education at the University of Wisconsin. Her research focuses on meaningful opportunities for bi/multilingual and English Learner students to use their full linguistic resources for literacy learning and self-determination.
Dr. Raul Leon is Assistant Vice Provost for Student Engagement and Scholarship Programs at the University of Wisconsin, where he leads a portfolio that includes some of the largest scholarship programs in the country offering opportunities to talented and diverse students that continue to be leaders locally and nationally.
Minutes after he posted a tweet accusing the Republican running in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District of manufacturing outrage and failing to offer solutions, Eric Buxton received a reply from the candidate.
“Is that really your picture?” Derrick Van Orden publicly responded three minutes later. “So your real name is Eric Buxton?”
Van Orden then reshared the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy professor’s July 13th post, asking Buxton for his home address, who he works for, who he’s contributed to and who he’s voted for. He threatened to publish the man’s public information unless he stopped his “Stalinist practices.”
Less than an hour later, Van Orden tweeted four screenshots of Buxton’s LinkedIn profile. “This you, hero?” Van Orden wrote for his thousands of Twitter followers to see.
Quoted: Adrian Treves, a professor of environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is wary of the state’s estimate.
Treves has questioned the DNR’s use of the model and fears the agency is overestimating the number of wolves. He noted the agency used data from surveys within 100-square-kilometer blocks to estimate the total area occupied by wolves. But, Treves said the state estimated average pack sizes based on their home range within 171-square-kilometer blocks.
“That means their grid cells are almost half of what a wolf pack territory is,” Treves said. “So, there’s a real risk that when they say two neighboring cells are occupied that they’re counting two packs where there’s only one.”
Quoted: Barry Burden, director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Elections Research Center, said the spending dynamics are, in part, a result of Evers and Johnson being free from real primary challengers. For Michels and Barnes, Wisconsin’s August primary meant a later start to get their general election campaigns off the ground.
“The spending between incumbents and challengers might level out as election day approaches,” Burden said.
“It is striking that outside groups are spending more than the candidates themselves. Only Wisconsin residents get to decide who wins, but there is clearly tremendous interest from donors and party leaders across the country in what happens here.”
Quoted: But mobile markets can struggle to stay financially afloat. One researcher who has studied mobile markets for over a decade likens them to “revolving doors” because of how frequently mobile market projects start up and then stall.
“There’s often funding to start them,” said Lydia Zepeda, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor. “The question is trying to find a model that is financially sustainable — because they’re expensive.”
Noted: Even before the pandemic, nearly 20% of adults in Wisconsin had mental health needs, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. That percentage translated to about 830,000 people.
At about the same time — again, before the pandemic — a report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute found significant coverage gaps across the state. The report said 55 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties had “significant shortages” of psychiatrists and 31 counties need more than two additional full-time psychiatrists to make up for the shortage.
On the other hand, some worry the mental health care workforce just isn’t there to support the spate of new patients who’ll test positive for anxiety disorders.
“I support it,” said Dr. Marcia Slattery, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of UW Anxiety Disorders Program. “Anxiety is the most prevalent psychiatric disorder and impacts life globally. The fact that it’s so widespread and there’s really been no coordinated effort to address it, I’m in support of what they’re proposing.”
Quoted: The phone number shakeup coincides with a regional population boom, said David Egan-Robertson, a demographer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Applied Population Lab.
Demographers don’t typically focus on telephone area codes as units of study — they tend to be more interested in subdivisions used by the U.S. Census Bureau like political districts, Egan-Robertson said. Still, he noted, when an area grows, more residents and more businesses will probably need more phone numbers.
“When there’s a lot of population growth, there’s also a whole layer of commercial growth that may be going on,” he said.
In other words, when a region booms, the birth of a new area code could be one side effect.
For several decades, Wisconsin and a majority of the Midwest experienced a significant amount of brain drain to other states, depleting the number of highly educated individuals working and living in the state.
Enrollment at Wisconsin’s state universities fell by around 1 percent compared to last fall, according to new estimates from the University of Wisconsin System. While three schools saw more students enrolling this fall, nine reported declines of between 3 and 6 percent, and one reported steady enrollment.