Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: A 2016 Contender But Not A College Graduate

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Douglas Graham / CQ Roll Call / Getty Images

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker during the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort & Conference Center at National Harbor, Md., on March 16, 2013.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is an eagle scout and a potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate. One thing he isn’t is a college graduate, and that may soon change.

Walker left Marquette University in his senior year before finishing his degree. In a meeting with reporters last week hosted by National Review, Walker explained the surprising gap in his resume. In his second and third years at school, Walker worked part-time for IBM in Milwaukee. Shortly before senior year, the local IBM office was relocated to Illinois, but Walker’s client, the American Red Cross, offered him a job, which turned out to be full time.

“The reason I went to college, in large part, was not just to get an education for an education’s sake, but to get a job,” Walker said of his decision to drop out of school. At first he tried to be a part time student, but quickly the births of his children took that option off the table.

The missing bachelors may seem odd, but it’s one reason Walker’s appeal in the GOP is only rising. Unlike New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, most Americans would have no trouble imagining sharing a beer with Walker, the age-old likability test. “I always thought I’d get back, and I may still do,” Walker said, explaining he recently helped establish a “flex option” at the University of Wisconsin to allow adults to complete their college education. “Someday, maybe in the next few years, I’ll embark on finishing my degree.”

And if he finishes it up before 2016, it’s just another accomplishment to highlight on the race to the White House.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified Sen. Rand Paul as from Texas. He represents Kentucky. 

96 comments
cshs1965
cshs1965

He is so close to getting a degree that if he wants to be president, I would say he should just go ahead and do what it takes to finish. On the other hand, finishing his degree will not make him any more capable. But it will keep him from being eliminated because it is almost a given that our president will have a college degree.

MadDog66
MadDog66

Most of the past Presidents had college degrees - how's that worked out for the good of the country??  The anointed one we have now has a Haaaavaaard degree and still has never had a real job, nor is he the brightest bulb.  But he is one great teleprompter reader!!

mezzoid
mezzoid

He didn't marry till 1993 and his first child wasn't born till 1994. He left MU in 1990.... Scooter was never good at math, it appears.

ActivistsDiary
ActivistsDiary

Oh, I just discovered that Yale doesn't even have a journalism school - well, that explains a few things...I live the state with one of the best J schools in the country - where our students exposed that there were innocent men on death row, which led to their exoneration and abolishing the death penalty in our state. What did YOU do today, besides write more garbage?

ActivistsDiary
ActivistsDiary

Is this what Yale J School teaches now, Zeke? How to be a lazy shill for criminals and idiots? Why don't you do what real journalists do and use that Google machine we all have and discover that there is a distinct likelihood that Walker has been covering up that he got kicked out for his well-documented illegal cheating while campaigning at college? And, while you're at it, do a little more digging and see if you expose the truth behind the claim that his college girlfriend who was pregnant with his child at the Catholic University, was told by Walker and his family to get an abortion because an illegitimate child would "ruin" his reputation? But, never mind - it's so much easier to just be lazy and write fictional accounts of politicians who might be running for president. Yale should rescind your degree.

nmsoxfan1
nmsoxfan1

I did not mean to imply you are an "idiot" BECAUSE you went to college; I'm referring to "idiots w. college or advanced degrees."  The point is that a degree, even from a prestigious college, or multiple letters after your name does not mean your statements and political positions cannot be challenged.  In all academic/scientific matters, people with advanced degrees take opposite positions from each other.  And in politics you don't have to have a degree or have gone to a prestigious school.  Where did Lincoln go to college?  And as the Wizard of Oz said to the scarecrow, they are many who have no more brains than you, but they do have something you don't have: a piece of paper (representing a degree).  Still true today.

Newberlin
Newberlin

I will make a deal. When Obama releases his school records we will have walker release his. Deal?? I would think Obama would want everyone to know what a scholar he was.

Newberlin
Newberlin

Don't worry lefties, there is plenty of time to do a hatchet job on walker.

Newberlin
Newberlin

What people need to know is your average Madison Lefty in Wisconsin HATES WALKER WITH A PASSION AND WOULD DANCE ON THE GRAVES OF HIS CHILDREN. They hate walker because the took all the freebies away and now unions cant just buy politicians who shear the sheep (taxpayers) and give all the wool to the unions. Whats more the left in our state is putting up a rich limo liberal (mary burke) whose daddy runs Trek bicycle and makes millions of dollars shipping jobs overseas. Trek was just told by the federal government that it could no longer block its employees attempts to get aid for losing their jobs that were shipped overseas. This is the person the democrats in Wisconsin put up for governor. They understand your typical democrat radical wont win against walker. Wisconsin likes the fact our state and local budgets are finaly in line. We don't go for adding a sixth season in Wisconsin (the four seasons, construction season and recall the governor season). In the last recall  Walker won with a BIGGER MAJORITY than when originally elected. We had death threats. Nutty liberals threatening to kill republican lawmakers children and families. Some idiot protestor sang to the Capitol press office manager about how great it was her dad just died and THAT was because she complained about the noise in the hallway.  We even had a gas station owner who had the unlucky happenstance of a liberal nut seeing a republican lawmaker fill up his gas tank at the self serve pump. Somebody called and said if the gas station owner let republicans fill up at the station there would be reprisals. But we are always lead to believe liberals are the tolerant, inclusive, white hat (no that's not racial liberals) good guys that help little old lady republicans across the street instead of kicking them to the curb. Don't get between a Wisconsin public union person and their taxpayer gravy train, there will be hell to pay. And I should be worried walker doesn't have a degree?? Ha, that's a laugh.

Sinclair
Sinclair

What an utterly ridiculous story completely devoid of the facts.

CreamCity
CreamCity

What do you expect of a grad of Yale, which doesn't have a journalism school?  Marquette does, and its student newspaper reported the story of why Walker was, um, asked to leave at the time and many times since -- all archived on the Marquette Tribune online site.  By the way, Walker was not, in his fourth year there, a senior.  He was 36 credits short of a degree so still a junior after four years.   

As for his claim that "he recently helped establish" the Flex Option program in the UW, oops, make room for more corrections -- and the facts are in the major newspapers in the state:  Walker claimed as his own a program already in the works in the UW.  He also promised two million dollars to the UW for the program.  Of course, being Walker, he lied.  He pulled those millions (and more than two hundred million more) from the UW in his budget.  So, the development of the Flex Option program had to come from the tuition paid by UW students.

Add that to the many corrections noted below, because Walker has tried this lie before about when he was married, when his children were born -- really, it's pathological how impossible it is for the guy to speak truths, even when talking to good reporters.  Did the Yale grad commit any acts of journalism for this story?  Any evidence for his piece of puffery?  Bueller?

CynthiaL.Olson
CynthiaL.Olson

How can you write something here that is so devoid of facts?

Honestly, those of us that live in Wisconsin know the truth.  Scott Walker left Marquette because he was cheating.  His son's weren't even born yet.  Actually he was evicted from Marquette.  He has a lot of skeletons in his closet and if he runs for President, they will be coming out.  This makes me ill.  How can a reporter be so ignorant.

garagemahal65
garagemahal65

So Walker quit college half way through his senior year to look after his sons......who were born four years later? LOL. Everyone knows he was thrown out of Marquette for cheating. Nobody quits a few months before graduation. 

SheilaSpear
SheilaSpear

Check your facts first.  Or read the book:  Gov. Walker's official biography reports he attended Marquette University from 1986-1990. And also says he was not married until February 1993. His first son was born in late June 1994.  

LilRedfeather
LilRedfeather

Gov. Walker was forced to leave College for CHEATING In College .. Give us a break here, and at least be honest here Governor Walker. All this information will come out. Walker cannot hide the truth forever. The man is completely uneducated to be President.

HenryCrum
HenryCrum

Walker has been a fairly successful but he has the charisma of a brown paper bag. I just can't see him winning any nomination outside the upper mid west where they like bland.

feistyfemale
feistyfemale

Zeke: please use the Google to surf the Internet tubes before embarrassing yourself and your publication by printing stuff like this. FACT: In EVERY campaign (college, assembly--see Scott Jensen), Milwaukee County Exec, Wisconsin Governor) that Scott Walker has been a candidate, he has been engulfed in a stink of ethical lapses, fraudulent behavior, and criminal corruption. How could you miss the SECOND John Doe investigation currently underway? So far Walker is Teflon Scott Tissue. He always has the same excuse: the unions are after me! It's a witch hunt conducted by my political enemies! But things are getting very very interesting. Walker's current situation is so precarious that he and his big money backers are going to court to STOP THE INVESTIGATION or at least slow it down so it doesn't interfere with his reelection. Instead of saying, "Sure, search all you like, I'm clean," he hired three very high-priced attorneys/law firms to keep the John Doe from doing its intended mission. But why not? It only cost him about $700,000 to get out of John Doe I unscathed. As my Wisconsin dairy farmer daddy used to say, "Be patient, Honey. In the end the chickens come home to roost."

AndyO
AndyO

Does TIME just publish anything any politician tells them?  At least they do for Scott Walker.  

Walker left Marquette (under a cloud of controversy for breaking rules in student elections) in 1990. He married in 1993. His first child was born in 1994. That means TIME has given their readers false information with this:  

"At first he tried to be a part time student, but quickly the births of his children took that option off the table."

Note to TIME:  Four years is not "quickly." 

From Wikipedia: "Walker enrolled at Marquette University in Milwaukee in 1986. He attended college for four years but never graduated. "

Four years but no degree. 

benjaminwk85
benjaminwk85

@mezzoid You've apparently never been good at READING.

He left MU as a full-time student in '90 for full-time employment. He then attempted to finish a degree part-time (after working full-time). Are you following the bouncing ball or do we need to spell it out? If you need help understanding how part-time education works, let me know.

#walkerderangementsyndrome

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin act 10 never saved a dime. so the union issue is a myth as far any savings to the taxpayer as scooter has admitted. Your post shows your a drop out just like street walker. that is why you support him.

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin The people who love America and freedom and GOD squirm at walkers evils. that`s a fact. Webster`s dictionary says to change what is norm for personal political or religious reasons is an act of perversion. So only one of those type could support scooter. From 1990 to 1993 scooter was david kochs luver

Newberlin
Newberlin

Oh and now we are into our second or third (I cant keep count) John doe investigation into anybody that sold a stick of gum to walker.  99.99 percent of liberals complaints in Wisconsin can be explained by the phrase "its Walker." They thought the free insurance, free pension, freebies like the green bay teacher emeritus (where a "retired" teacher can work one month for six months pay), having WEAC (teachers union) as the sole health insurance provider in many districts, would all just continue forever and ever. Wisconsinites could just have tax increase after tax increase with no end in sight.  ACT 10 is law and its going to stay that way. Get over it or quit your job in government and go some place else and kvetch all day long to your new boss how bad you have and how you get screwed each day. 

BPrince15
BPrince15

@CreamCity It's really bad. The writer should be embarrassed. This sounds like something his campaign manager would write for Scott Walkers webpage. 

Newberlin
Newberlin


You mean YOUR so called facts. How do you feel about trek shipping jobs overseas and blocking the employees from getting aid because of that?? How can a liberal put a candidate for governor whose family company does that?? That makes me ill. How about you??

nmsoxfan1
nmsoxfan1

@HenryCrum Perhaps after Obama, the public will prefer honesty and competence to charisma

nmsoxfan1
nmsoxfan1

@feistyfemale All those phony charges have been desperate attempts by Big Labor/Dems to stop Walker when they haven't been able to do so at the ballot box.

nmsoxfan1
nmsoxfan1

@AndyO And your point is?  We've seen what "educated idiots" who have no understanding of the real world do to this country.  Go Walker!

AndyO
AndyO

Six people convicted in the previous John Doe. Walker is crooked and won office by cheating.  @Newberlin

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin@CreamCity It is hard to tell facts to a simple mind republitards. First you need a brain. Just like the lie act 10 helped the budget. Under oath walker admitted it never saved a dime. Now he lies to everyone telling a different fairytale. Everything about walker is because he is a pretty boy fairy support by the closet gay gop

Newberlin
Newberlin

@CreamCity There is no story on the Marquette tribune site. There are a lot of leftwing radical sites repeating rumors though.

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin@garagemahal65 it made national news. if you only had a brain  .websters says to change what is norm for personal political or religious reasons is an act of perversion. that`s scooters life story. p e r  v e r s I o n . His book tells the story of a sick little man doing as his owner demands just like all girls that work the street. he was not intimidated by the good people of Wisconsin. he stuck to his p I m p

BPrince15
BPrince15

@Newberlin @garagemahal65 The school Newspaper is a good start. He could dispel all the speculation by giving the school permission to comment on his change in status. Obama released his birth certificate to end speculation that he wasn't born in Hawaii.

BPrince15
BPrince15

@nmsoxfan1 @HenryCrum A person is not dishonest if something doesn't turn out the way they thought it would. That is called "mistaken" at worst. There is so little that Obama has been mistaken about that the wingnuts try to make great hay out of anything that doesn't go exactly as planned. Obama is highly competent. He also has a quiet charisma. He truly is no drama Obama. The Obama critics are a toxic and vocal minority as proven by the last two presidential elections. 

Sinclair
Sinclair

Walker spent 4 years becoming one of those "college educated idiots"

AndyO
AndyO

The reason TIME magazine gave for Walker dropping (or being kicked out of) college is false. Incorrect. Not true. 

We know this because the public record shows otherwise. The kids came 4 years later.

And if you don't like college educated people, Walker spent 4 years in college. But perhaps he learned nothing.   

@nmsoxfan1 @AndyO

kathy6829
kathy6829

@Newberlin @AndyO  - Actually it was Robin Vos (soon to be X) wife that was caught illegally voting while registered and residing in another state.  Can you cite our source about Democrats voting multiple times?

Newberlin
Newberlin

@AndyO and like you would give a damn if any democrat won by cheating huh.

Newberlin
Newberlin

@AndyO Who were those people. One was some office clerk who posted nice comments about walker online during her office hours. Walker fired her. Another guy was stealing money from a veterans charity and that investigation came about BECAUSE WALKER ASKED FOR IT. How many republicans were charged with cheating in the election by the way. So far all I see are democrats who voted twice. Why cant you just admit you hate walker and that drives all your thinking. Its walker. That's all.

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin@CreamCity The story has been in many media outlets. have an adult google it for you. someone who can read and comprehend. Not just looking at the pictures and headlines. lazy people never know anything because of fox propaganda for there mother russia

JerryPerson
JerryPerson

@Newberlin@CreamCity we no long call walker stories rumors. everything walker does and says is a LIE. only people with tunnel vision support him. the police. walker introduced truth in sentencing forcing Wisconsin to hire 32,000 UNION public sector workers. this has cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin over 50 billion with the building of 71 new jails and courthouses. Dozens of prisons and 455 new or remodeled police stations in Wisconsin. this created the largest police state in the world. Just like Germany in 1933 thank you scooter. why do you hate democracy and freedom?

Newberlin
Newberlin

So give the link to the story. Obama has not released his school records and democrats LOVED keeping the story that Obama might not be a U.S citizen going. They were the ones (just like you here) who want to constantly drone on about it. So that story on the Tribune. Please provide it or shut up.

Newberlin
Newberlin

@Sinclair If he graduated with honors you would just find something else to hate about him.

TSOL
TSOL

@Newberlin @AndyO We know what the GWB, John Kerry and Bill and Hillary Clinton's grades were. Why not Obama's unless the press wants to hide something? 


Newberlin
Newberlin

@AndyO Andy - A persons school record is NOT a public record ok.  Otherwise I could go look up Obamas grade in economics at Harvard.