MacIver News Service | June 14, 2013
[Madison, Wisc...] From June 12-15, many departments from the University of Wisconsin System are sponsoring Fighting Forward: A Labor and Working Class Summit, an event that Rep. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) said was "higher education prioritizing liberal indoctrination of students instead of the concept of educational sifting and winnowing."
One of the main sponsors of the conference is the Labor and Working Class Studies Project, a branch of the UW-Madison Havens Center for the Study of Social Structure and Social Change. The Havens Center is housed within the Sociology Department at UW-Madison.
If the main sponsor of this event is an academic department at the state's largest public university, are Wisconsin tax dollars funding this event?
The MacIver Institute began investigating Fighting Forward after learning that multiple UW System departments were co-sponsoring the event and that many UW professors would be leading certain workshops.
Some of the UW organizations that are co-sponsors include the Havens Center, the UW-Madison Community and Environmental Sociology Department, and the UW-Madison Gender and Women's Studies Program.
Both the Community and Environmental Sociology Department and Gender and Women's Studies Program denied any direct funding for the event. They both claimed that their sponsorship only entailed verbal endorsement of the conference, which includes a link on a university-run website.
Emails and phone calls to the Havens Center have gone unanswered.
The MacIver Institute will continue to investigate this event to find out if professors were being paid while leading workshops, if any UW-System funding paid for parts of the event, and if any tax dollars at all were used for the conference.
Updates will be provided as they become available.