Alan Borsuk

Senior Fellow in Law and Public Policy
(414) 288-4081


 Alan Borsuk was pretty serious about going to law school in the early 1970s, but decided to work for a year or two first. Somehow, that became 37 years at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as a reporter, columnist and editor. Finally, in November 2009, he made it to Marquette Law School, not as a student but as a senior fellow in law and public policy. His duties include writing for the Law School faculty blog about Law School programs and public policy issues, working on the Marquette Lawyer magazine, and undertaking research projects related to public policy. He also writes a weekly column about education, appearing Sundays in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

During his newspaper career, Borsuk covered a wide range of subjects, including federal courts, environmental issues, Milwaukee city government, abortion, and philanthropy and foundations in Milwaukee. He covered several presidential campaigns and numerous presidential visits to Wisconsin, as well as wide range of state political stories. He is probably best known for his work as editor of Wisconsin, the Sunday magazine of the Milwaukee Journal, from 1986 to 1994, and for his reporting on education issues in Milwaukee from 1998 to 2009, when he took early retirement from the newspaper. His reporting played significant roles in shaping state policy on Milwaukee's private school voucher program and a variety of issues related to Milwaukee Public Schools, including proposals to put Milwaukee's mayor in charge of key decisions related to the schools. Borsuk was also the first person to find in federal education records and to make public the evidence that the gap in educational achievement between white students and black students in Wisconsin was, by several measures, the largest in the United States. He has won numerous awards for his reporting, including the 2009 Education Advocacy Award of the Marquette College of Education.

Borsuk has also written for the New York Times, the magazine of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, and The Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University, and has spoken at seminars sponsored by Hechinger and the national Education Writers Association.

Borsuk has also been an active volunteer in education in his private life, playing key roles in founding two schools in Milwaukee, Yeshiva Elementary School for kindergarten through eighth grade students, and Torah Academy of Milwaukee, a girls high school. He is currently president of the board of the Wisconsin Institute for Torah Study, a boys high school in Milwaukee.

Borsuk grew up in Madison and is a 1972 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He worked in high school and college for the Wisconsin State Journal. Borsuk and his wife, Robi, have four children and seven grandchildren.