UW System chief brings plainspoken style - JS Online

Published: March 11, 2015

MADISON — Tied to teams of horses pulling in opposite directions. That's how Troy Cross — an associate professor of philosophy at Reed College in Portland, Ore. — sees his dad, University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross.

The liberal arts professor with the college administrator dad has been watching a contentious debate from afar ever since Gov. Scott Walker proposed a $300 million state budget cut for the UW System over two years in exchange for long-sought-after autonomy from cumbersome state regulations.

He's seen what he calls "the hate" his dad is getting in blog posts and online reader comments on news stories. Some say his dad is selling out the university, others accuse him of being an apologist for lazy elitist professors.

"He's just trying to do an impossible job," the second oldest son of the UW System president said in an email exchange. "If there is anyone who can get people who are deeply divided and mistrustful of one another to work together for the good of the state and the UW, it's Dad."  

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