Gov. Scott Walker’s 2013-15 biennial budget proposal is the the best budget University of Wisconsin administrators have seen in many budget cycles.
UW Colleges and UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross responded with a news release, noting that the budget emphasizes the role UW institutions play in job creation, workforce development and economic growth.
“I am especially pleased that this budget includes startup funding to launch the UW Flexible Option,” Cross said, explaining that UW-Extension is leading this initiative to bridge the gap between what adults know today and the degree or certificate they need to advance their careers. This option allows them to start, progress and complete their education on their own schedules. Details are available at flex.wisconsin.edu.
Gov. Scott Walker will deliver his 2013-15 biennial budget address to a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature tonight, Feb. 20, 2013, at the State Capitol. Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) will broadcast it live starting at 7 p.m. and Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) also will carry live coverage on the Ideas Network stations. WPR’s Shawn Johnson and WPT’s Frederica Freyberg will provide post-address analysis.
In Gov. Walker’s E-update, he indicated the budget will focus on five priorities:
1. Creating jobs
2. Developing our workforce
3. Transforming education
4. Reforming government
5. Investing in infrastructure
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.
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.
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, http://www.wiseye.org, streams the meetings live and archives them.
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau provides information about the task force at: http://legis.wisconsin.gov/lfb/UW_Task_Force/Pages/default.aspx
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.
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.”