Fifty Three to Fifty Six: Gordon Hintz (54th) Answers AT

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Gordon Hintz (54th) Answers AT

1. Should a felony conviction determine whether someone should be hired to teach in the UW System?

Simply put, if a person’s crime is related to their prospective job, they shouldn’t be able to hold that job. For example, a convicted sex offender shouldn’t be able to be a Hall director. Wisconsin State Statute 111.321 originally prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of arrest and conviction record, except in cases where a prospective employee was not bondable or where the type of job was related to the nature of the crime. Since then, the legislature has passed provisions giving employers the discretion not to hire persons convicted of drug-related felonies, even though the conviction may not be specifically related to a job. I believe that the intent of the original law is to provide fair employment opportunity with specific job-related exceptions to protect all parties. This should guide hiring decisions about otherwise fully qualified persons by UW institutions.

2. If elected, how will you balance the concerns of students and taxpayers (i.e. controlling college costs vs. lowering taxes)?

I am committed to a strong university system that provides a great education to all qualified students, regardless of their economic status. I taught at UW Oshkosh and so have both of my parents. I believe that education is an investment for Wisconsin. Wisconsin universities will continue to be funded by a combination student tuition, state revenues, grants, and contributions. I do not support further state revenue cuts in the university budget. I also believe that expanded efforts need to be made to provide the necessary financial support for students who cannot afford to pay their tuition. Wisconsin's investment in need-based financial aid is very low compared with top-performing states, something that needs to be addressed if we want to increase our skilled workforce.

3. If the UW System budget is cut again for the next biennium, where do you suggest cuts be made?

As a rule, I do not believe that the legislature should determine specific cuts in the university budget. University officials have a much better sense of what reductions would be the least harmful. I would hope, however, that the University would do everything it can to protect core student services and a quality education.

4. What are your thoughts on Chancellor Richard Wells' "growth plan"?

I strongly support Chancellor Wells’ growth plan for UW Oshkosh. It recognizes the critical role of higher education in northeastern Wisconsin and the fact that this region lags other areas in the percentage of college graduates. We are engaged in a global economy in which knowledge has become the critical factor and the sooner that we all realize this, the more competitive we can be. The “growth” agenda proposal would improve student retention by 10%. It would increase the number of students of color by 75% and of older adult students by 58%. It would hike the number of degrees awarded by 10% and on-campus enrollment from 11,000 to 12,800 students (12%). My opponent supports a Constitutional limit on government revenues (TABOR/TPA) as proposed this past spring in Madison. According to Chancellor Wells April 5, 2006 testimony before the legislature opposing these limits, he said that based on recent UW System studies, and assuming no tuition offset, the implementation of TPA s reduction would wipe out approximately 873 FTE students in one budget. After three TPA biennial budgets, UW Oshkosh could shrink 27% smaller instead of growing 12% larger as needed. You cannot support the “growth” agenda and constitutional revenue limits like TPA and be taken seriously.

5. Would you have signed the legislative petition to fire Kevin Barrett? What is the limit on academic freedom? Should legislators have a say in who gets to teach at a UW school?

I think that Barrett is dead-wrong with his conspiracy theory about 9/11, but I would not have signed the legislative petition. It is the job of the university to properly review the credentials and actions of its faculty and to make the appropriate personnel decisions, not the legislature. Occasionally, there is a “Barrett-type” incident that gets a good deal of negative attention and I hope that UW Madison is, in fact, engaging in its proper review. If, however, the legislature gets involved in this employment decision, what limits will there be with regard to other faculty members? Will political preference be a standard? What about open criticism of the legislature? Ultimately, the legislature needs to trust the university to make the right choices with regard to hiring and continued employment. The only thing more ridiculous than Kevin Barrett’s views on 9/11 was all the cheap opportunistic bashing of the university system in the media by self promoters like Rep. Steve Nass

From, Octobber 2006



Post a Comment

<< Home