As an ongoing national debate takes place regarding the value of liberal arts degrees and the comparative value of more technical, vocational education, the issue is coming sharply into focus here in Wisconsin. Republican members of the state legislature have held informal discussions to explore an idea to merge UW’s two-year colleges with the state’s technical college system. Although no legislation has been drafted yet, some are concerned the talks aren’t doing enough to provide for public input and scrutiny. Judith Burstyn, a bio-inorganic chemist at UW-Madison and President of PROFS, spoke with Brian Standing about the proposed merger and the overall role of higher education.
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