Professor offers extra credit for attending anti-Walker budget rally

A University of Wisconsin-Whitewater English professor offered her students extra credit for attending a rally Thursday evening against Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin System.

Professor Beth Lueck, a Democrat who was soundly defeated by state Rep. Jim Ott, R-Mequon, in the 2014 23rd District Assembly race, sent a memo to her students Wednesday outlining the "extra credit opportunity."

"UWW students have organized a non-partisan rally with students, faculty, and community members on the UW Whitewater campus against Gov. Walker's proposed $300 million cut to the UW system, along with speaking out against attacks on shared governance and faculty," Lueck wrote an a document first tweeted out Thursday by conservative talk show host Vicki McKenna. "You may get extra credit by joining the rally or by observing it or by protesting it."

A fiscal analysis shows UW-Whitewater could see a $6.4 million cut in funding under the proposal, or 19 percent of the funding stream -- the largest percentage hit of all universities in the system.

Matthew Yontz, a second semester freshman in Lueck's class, said students were not told how much extra credit they would receive for attending the rally. Yontz said the "assignment" is out of line."

"I took a political science class last semester. I can understand maybe doing this for that class but not an English class," he said.

In an email to Wisconsin Reporter late Thursday afternoon, Lueck stressed that students were not required to attend the event.

"The extra credit opportunity -- not an assignment -- requires students to write a response to the event or lecture that they attend. The amount of credit given has nothing to do with the views they express," she wrote.

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