State budget

Regents approve 5.5% tuition hike

Annual tuition at UW Colleges will increase by $247, to a total of $4,750, for in-state students following the approval June 7 of a 5.5 percent tuition increase for all UW System campuses by the Board of Regents.  Student fees will bring the total cost for two semesters to more than $5,000 at all UW Colleges campuses.

UW System said the tuition hike will cover about a third of the cuts to the university imposed by the State Legislature in the last budget. The university lost $316 million in state revenue cuts over the two-year budget period. Tuition increases are expected to recoup $110 million of the loss.


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Budget cuts approved for UW-Extension and UW Colleges

UW-Extension will have to cut $2,078,362 and UW Colleges will have to cut $1,749,461 from their current fiscal year budgets as part of the University of Wisconsin’s share of the current state budget shortfall. The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved the cuts on a 12-4 vote Feb. 15.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration estimates that the state will have to cut $123.15 million in 2011-12 and $51.15 million in 2012-13. The UW was assigned to bear $46,135,078, or 37.4% of the state’s 2011-12 shortfall.

The material prepared and presented by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau on the lapse is located here. The report includes a section on the University of Wisconsin System.

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Task force tackles relationships between UW System and UW institutions

Richard Wells and Ray Cross

Richard Wells and Ray Cross

The relationship between the University of Wisconsin System and UW institutions is the topic of today’s meeting of the Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities. The Jan. 11 meeting at the State Capitol began with presentations by UW System President Kevin Reilly, UW-Parkside Chancellor Deborah Ford, UW-Stout Chancellor Charles Sorensen and UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells, followed by a discussion open to all task force members including UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross.

This is the second of seven scheduled task force meetings. The first, Dec. 7, included a presentation by Aims McGuiness of the National Center on Higher Education Management Systems. He provided perspectives from other states regarding regulations, accountability and partnerships.

The next task force meeting will be Feb. 8. The legislature created the task force in June 2011 after the Joint Finance Committee rejected a proposal to split to split UW-Madison from the rest of the UW System. The task force report is due in July 2012.

Wisconsin Eye,, streams the meetings live and archives them.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau provides information about the task force at:

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Chancellor tells senators UW Colleges and UW-Extension are vital to economy

Ray Cross

Chancellor Ray Cross joined UW System President Kevin Reilly and many other chancellors, employers, students and teachers in telling a Nov. 15 hearing by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, and Higher Education how the proposed budget lapse would hurt the university’s ability to help grow the Wisconsin economy. His examples demonstrate how UW-Extension and UW Colleges are working closely with businesses to meet their needs for skilled employees.  Here is the full text of his testimony.

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CEO/deans join President Reilly and chancellors in objecting to budget cuts

All 13 UW Colleges CEO/deans joined Chancellor Ray Cross, UW System President Kevin P. Reilly and the chancellors of all UW System universities in signing an opinion column explaining why the state’s decision to cut an additional $65.3 million from the UW budget will harm students and the state. The column ran in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Oct. 28.

The column accuses the administration of “reliance on the UW System to balance the state budget.” The UW System is targeted for 38% of the cuts, despite the fact that the UW System represents only 7% of state expenditures.

“We do not understand the rationale behind such a lopsided allocation. We do understand why state leaders would exempt K-12 schools and technical colleges from new cuts, as “high priority programs,” but we can’t comprehend why they would place such a heavy burden squarely upon the shoulders of UW students.”

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Wausau gets go-ahead on broadband grant

The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to allow the Wausau Community Area Network to spend $1.9 million in federal Building Community Capacity with Broadband grant funds.  Wausau is one of five demonstration communities that were awarded $32.3 million in federal broadband expansion and education grants through UW-Extension in 2010.  A provision in the state budget required Wausau to get approval from the JFC before spending any money.

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Regents to consider $235 tuition hike for UW Colleges

The UW System Board of Regents will take up the 2011-12 operating budget and consider tuition increases when it meets on Thursday.  UW System President Kevin Reilly is proposing to end a four-year tuition freeze for UW Colleges, which would be included in a 5.5 percent tuition hike for all UW institutions. The increase would amount to $235 for UW Colleges and would bring in-state tuition to $4,503 for two semesters. If the regents approve the new rates, the average annual tuition at four‐year UW institutions will be $6,543, an increase of $381 from last year. In-state tuition at UW-Madison will rise to $8,369 and UW-Milwaukee tuition will be $7,669.

The recommended tuition rates would generate approximately $37.5 million for the coming year, which will cover less than one third of the $125 million in budget cuts that UW System universities and colleges must make in the first fiscal year of the 2011‐13 biennium.


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