Metaphors: Is this life and death? Is it war?

In journalism, as in other forms of research, asking the right questions is often the best way to start organizing our thoughts about issues that are difficult to grasp fully.  After Black Friday, that’s what I find myself doing in regard to education in Wisconsin.

It’s easy to be in a funk after what might be the most severe one-two punch to higher education in Wisconsin history.  It’s difficult to decide what to do about it, but perhaps if we all — educators, students, parents, and stakeholders in the system — could find the right words and organizing concepts to examine what’s happening in our home, we could more effectively move forward.

Here are some of the questions I’m asking myself, because I’m also going to be asking my colleagues, my neighbors and my friends.

Does the University of Wisconsin System now, as this online petition  asserts, “stand at the brink of an inexorable death spiral?” Some faculty apparently aren’t waiting to find out.

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