Stronger UWM=Stronger Wisconsin
Sometimes one story leads to another. My Isthmus piece on the critical role of the UW System in rebuilding the Wisconsin economy got me thinking about the importance of urban universities in anchoring prosperous metropolitan regions.
I make the case in this Journal Sentinel opinion column that a bigger state investment in UW-Milwaukee would be a key ingredient in revitalizing Milwaukee.
A strong Milwaukee is good for us all — Madison, the Milwaukee suburbs and the state as a whole. “You can’t move the state forward economically unless Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin are leading the pack,” as former commerce secretary Bill McCoshen puts it.
Indeed, most prosperous metro regions — the Austins and Seattles of the nation — are usually enriched by strong central cities, research shows. The weakest — the Clevelands and Milwaukees — are hobbled by weak central cities.
Look no farther than Minnesota, which has soared ahead of the Badger state. Our median income of $52,622 a year is almost $9,000 less than our sister state’s. The contrasting impact of Minnapolis-St.Paul’s muscular economy to Milwaukee’s lingering Rust Belt decline is the key reason for the prosperity gap.
To read more on the history and important role of urban universities, please go here.