January 25, 2024 at 10:55 a.m.

Was Senator Marklein really powerless in UW-Richland decision?

Dear Editor,

Ken Stark’s political cartoon published a few weeks ago actually had a response from Sen. Marklein.  In it, Marklein again pats himself on the back for all he did for the UW system…and for all he did for UW-Richland.

Does he really think that our memories are so poor that we don’t remember he basically did nothing to help our beloved UW-Richland campus?  At community meetings, he would say he was powerless to do anything.  Powerless???  The co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee, which is one of the strongest, most powerful committees in the legislature?  He said he didn’t want to throw money at a losing cause.

UW-Richland supporters had a PLAN…a plan to increase students and become viable again.  They just needed another 2 years to prove they could do it. Time, and a bit of money.  Did Marklein ever meet with them?  Did he ever try to help them succeed?  NO.  He seems to have been part of Rothman’s plan to rid the state of affordable education by ending 2 year campuses.

The UW system now is trying to get more international students, because of the amount of money they pay, and the amount they spend.  Isn’t it ironic that UW-Richland had many international students, and UW-Platteville took them over….thereby taking students and money away from UW-R?!! And has Sen. Marklein ever spoken out about that? No.  But he did say he authorized a ton of money to go to UW-P for buildings, etc.  A small percentage of that money would have helped UW-R stay in business.  This kind of reminds me of how Marklein crowed about how wonderful the Foxconn boondoggle would be for Wisconsin, and how proud he was to be a part of it.  Funny how he never talks about it now.

I have never been able to figure out why Sen. Marklein seems to ignore Richland County.  His party has said they want to get more young adults to come to WI and to work in WI….yet he turned his back on the young adults in his district who wanted an affordable education.  I have been a frequent and vocal commenter about Marklein, and how he hasn’t done anything for us. He just never seems to give me a reason to change my mind.

Barbara Voyce

Lone Rock, WI