MI Perspectives: The UW Illiberal Education

Aug. 5, 2020

Perspective by State Rep. Scott Allen


Why would you go to any UW school?  I mean, why would you subject yourself to the indoctrination that UW is selling?

If you are a parent paying for college for your young adult, why would you send thousands of dollars of your hard-earned cash to an institution that seems to care more about instilling radical values than encouraging independent thinking and critical evaluation?

Consider, for example, the decision on the part of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater leadership to delay a planned student survey about free speech rights. Is University leadership so afraid of free speech and the expression of contrary ideas that a student survey on it needed to be postponed? It seems like a great example of an elite desire to control the message.

Consider that a similar survey was done at Madison earlier and found that 40% of students believe the government should restrict the speech of climate change deniers and over 35% believe that invitations should be revoked from speakers who might offend someone. Whatever happened to learning through the free exchange of ideas?

Consider the mandated course for all incoming graduate students that, while couched in terms of preventing sexual violence, focused instead on teaching critical race theory. One student with a different political philosophy tried to fail the course, but the online evaluation tool forces the student to answer “correctly” before they can move on in the test. Seems like textbook indoctrination to me.

Consider the Madison professor who received a Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching (Graphic Language Warning) who took to Twitter early in 2021 to write “F*** you (legislator name)…” twenty-seven times directed at a host of legislators because she disagreed with the policy decision they had made. Is this the type of discourse that UW wants to encourage?

Consider that UW has become so obsessed with creating a “welcoming and inclusive community” that it has guidelines for the use of pronouns.  River Falls has a handout, presumably to help students confused about the pronoun policy, informing students that some acceptable pronouns include “Ve” and “Zie” instead of She or He, or “Ver” or “Zim” instead of Him or Her, or “Eirself” or “Zirself” instead of Himself or Herself.  This practice, as River Falls describes it, “…shows them that as a community we acknowledge their existence. We create a space that validates them.”

Consider that Madison has a “bias or hate” reporting website which encourages the reporting of interactions that anyone in the university community finds uncomfortable. Very many public universities today have some sort of reporting structure where individuals can claim victim status and describe the bias that hurt feelings. An early 2020 review of the previous year’s reports at Madison revealed that many of the so-called microaggressions were situations of politically incorrect speech.

A UW education is becoming illiberal in the sense that it is unwilling to accept behavior or opinions different from the preferred ideology, because those ideas might offend some people.

Who determines the “correct” speech?  The university elite, of course.  They are the ones that can create the utopian environment where everyone feels welcome and included. They do this by policing speech and discouraging conflicting ideas. They think that their mission is to create safe spaces rather than to develop critical thinkers.


State Rep. Scott Allen represents the 97th Assembly District

He can be reached at: Rep.Allen@legis.wisconsin.gov