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Assembly UW critic sounds alarm over new UW-Madison chancellor

The state Legislature's most vocal critic of the University of Wisconsin system is not about to give the new Madison chancellor a honeymoon.

According to the Madison Capital Times, an aide to Assembly Colleges Committee chairman Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, shared a critical magazine story about Biddy Martin with his fellow Republicans in both houses.

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents is expected to hire Martin Thursday to replace retiring Madison chancellor John Wiley.

Martin is now the provost at Cornell.

The National Review item asked if "an obscure, self-indulged, theory-laden, post-modern scholar" can be an effective university president.

Nass aide Mike Mikalsen said he passed the item around because people have wondered what the conservative national press is saying about Martin.

He said she does not have a high profile and it's hard to figure out who she really is.

National Review writer Travis Kavulla said Martin thinks "Universities are useful in the sense that they can flush students of the bigotry found in most of American society."

The writer also joked about Martin's scholarly work called "Femininity Played Straight, the Significance of Being a Lesbian."

As chancellor, Martin has promised to fight for fringe benefits for domestic partners of UW employees - something Nass strongly opposes.

Nass has said he'll give Martin the benefit of the doubt.

But he said Wisconsinites don't want a UW promoting "the liberal indoctrination of young minds at the altar of political correctness."