Monday, June 13, 2005

please take me along when you slide on down

Regrettably, this doesn't surprise me in the least. If the repugs can't force us to all think like they do, they're at least going to destroy education in this state so no one is capable of thinking at all. Domestic partner benefits do not promote a homosexual lifestyle...far from it. It also doesn't "give away" health care to anyone. Currently, university system employees are required to copay their premiums, and for married couples, or single parents with children, the repugs have no issue with benefits. So what if a heterosexual couple has been living together for years but has made the conscious decision to NOT get married. Would you deny this "common law" couple health benefits? Or are they to be coerced by a heteronormative society into marriage simply to get these benefits?
Equal means equal...regardless of skin color, nationality, religion (if any), gender, sexual orientation, etc. Just because you don't agree with someone's lifestyle doesn't give you the right to discriminate against them.
I have a strong feeling that this is only the first of many excellent university system employees who will be lost in the coming years due to this ignorant, bigoted, disgusting policy perpetrated by the ideologues who have hijacked the state legislature.
Breaking news | Wisconsin's 'lack of commitment' to higher education prompts UW-Madison dean of students to quit

UW-Madison dean of students Luoluo Hong is leaving after less than three years on the job, blaming too-tight budgets and what she called Wisconsin's 'lack of commitment' to higher education despite the nearly 14 percent raise she has received since Nov. 2002.
'In my years here, I have seen a complete turnaround from what I thought higher education was all about in this state,' Hong said in an interview Monday. 'Instead of focusing on the really important issues of how we can support students, we spend a lot more time talking about how do we make cuts.'
Hong, 36, was hired at $100,000 a year and now makes $113,834. She will begin her new job on Aug. 1, earning $127,500 as dean of student affairs at the West Campus of Arizona State University.
Hong's raises at UW-Madison came during a time when the university was facing a $100 million budget cut. Most state employees - including many university leaders, faculty members and staff - saw base raises of only zero and 1 percent annually over the past two years.
Hong on Monday said she got more money largely because of a reorganization that gave her more responsibility, prompted by the sudden departure of former vice chancellor of student affairs Paul Barrows in November 2004. Barrows' duties were assigned to other supervisors, including Hong.
But personal salary aside, Hong said the state's budget cuts at the university, prompted by a $3.2 billion state deficit, have caused a struggle for resources in her 50-member office. It also has been difficult to recruit and retain employees, she said, because of a state law that forbids the University of Wisconsin System and all other state agencies from offering domestic-partner benefits.

UW-Madison earlier this year became the only university among its Big 10 peers that does not provide those benefits chiefly health insurance - for the partners of its gay and unmarried heterosexual employees.

"From afar, Wisconsin had a really outstanding record for its progressiveness on issues such as diversity and it has historically supported its higher education system," Hong said. "That's not been reflected while I've been here. We are spending a lot of time trying to react to cuts when really our needs to students are increasing."