Recent news and updates

Committee amends, approves UW budget provisions

by University Communications

The Joint Finance Committee (JFC) on Thursday recommended providing the UW System $89 million less in the next biennium than Gov. Scott Walker proposed in his amended budget, and delayed for two years the implementation of UW–Madison’s HR Design and the UW System’s overhaul of its personnel system.

The budget plan for the UW System was passed in an omnibus motion that wrapped several initiatives into one proposal. The motion passed on a 14-2 vote.

Read more >>>

UW System press release on Joint Finance Committee budget action

by University Communications

MADISON, Wis. – The legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance today advanced a budget that cuts state funding for the University of Wisconsin System by $66 million over two years and requires that UW reallocate $78 million for new initiatives and other expenses.

In addition, the Committee voted to transfer $58 million of UW funds to the Higher Education Aids Board (HEAB) in fiscal year 2014.  Because an equivalent amount of state funding would be withdrawn from that agency’s budget, the transfer will not result in any additional financial aid for UW students.

To the extent possible, UW System will use balances to cover fixed costs such as faculty and staff salaries, fringe benefits, debt service, and utilities. However, the permanent funding reductions and the absence of any new tuition revenues are expected to leave a structural shortfall of at least $61 million in UW’s annual budget starting in fiscal year 2016.

Read more >>>

Chancellor Ward statement on Joint Finance Committee’s budget action

by University Communications

Interim Chancellor David Ward has issued the following statement regarding the Joint Finance Committee’s action on the UW System budget:

“The governor’s amended proposal for UW System funding was challenging but manageable.  While I understand and appreciate the concerns of the Legislature over tuition levels, fund balances and other issues, I am disappointed that the Joint Finance Committee felt it needed to eliminate any new state funding in the upcoming biennium.  While we are able to reduce our cash balances to cover the expenses that will not be covered by the state in this biennium, the additional ongoing reductions proposed by the Committee will make it more difficult to meet our operational obligations in future years.  We must work together going forward to rebuild the trust between the university and the Legislature, to ensure that our goals and objectives for the university are aligned, and that there is a shared commitment to the level of state investment that will allow the state to maintain a world-class university.”

Committee takes up UW System budget Thursday

by University Communications

The state legislature’s Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to consider Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal for the UW System’s 2013-15 biennial budget on Thursday. The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has papers analyzing the budget proposal can be viewed at the LFB’s publication page.

WisconsinEye will carry the proceeding live.

Statement by Chancellor Ward on governor’s modified budget recommendation

by University Communications

It is likely that you have heard the news of the governor’s revised budget proposal that includes a two-year freeze on UW System tuition and reduces the amount of additional funding provided to the system in the 2013-15 biennial budget.

A memo from the state’s Department of Administration, known as an errata letter, outlines the modifications to Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal for the UW System. In light of cash balances accrued in many accounts across the system, the governor is recommending, in addition to a tuition freeze, a reduction in new state support for the system from $181 million to $87 million.  The Governor and the legislature’s call for a tuition freeze is understandable given the difficult fiscal situation faced by many students and their families, and we are still determining what fiscal impact the other changes outlined in the errata letter will have on our campus.

Read more >>>

UW System statement on Gov. Walker’s budget changes

by University Communications

The University of Wisconsin System released the following statement regarding proposed changes to the 2013-15 biennial state budget:

MADISON, Wis. – Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch today asked legislative leaders to make changes to Governor Walker’s proposed 2013-2015 biennial state budget, including adding a two-year tuition freeze for all University of Wisconsin System schools.

“We share the Governor’s interest in keeping college affordable and tuition low,” said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly.  “While UW tuition is already lower than many peer colleges and universities, a two-year tuition freeze will send the right message to Wisconsin students and families.”

UW institutions will reallocate $42 million from other resources to cover the cost of the proposed tuition freeze.

In addition, Sec. Huebsch’s letter calls for $65.7 million in reductions to taxpayer support for the UW System. The Governor recommended that the Board of Regents reallocate about $28 million in one-time funding to cover new economic development incentive grants, startup funding for new UW Flex Option degrees, and two initiatives at UW-Madison’s School of Medicine and Public Health.

Read more >>>

Updated Statement by Chancellor Ward on UW Fund Balances

by University Communications

Interim Chancellor David Ward issued the following statement on Monday, May 6, 2013.

I have appreciated the discussion I have heard on campus regarding the fund balances carried by University of Wisconsin System schools. As I wrote in the April 25 email on this subject, the funds in these accounts are used to help UW–Madison succeed in its academic and research missions.

I am following up to give you more specifics about the funds, and to clarify some points about them.

The fund balances are reported publicly each year in the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and the UW System’s Annual Financial Report. These reports present a snapshot of the balances at a specific time.

Read more »

Statement by Chancellor Ward on UW fund balances

by University Communications

It is likely you have seen or heard media reports about the fund balances that the University of Wisconsin System carries and the discussion among legislative leaders and others about those balances. I would like to explain how this issue relates to our campus, and how maintaining balances helps UW-Madison succeed in our academic and research missions. Read more

UW System budget will be discussed Thursday

by University Communications

The Joint Finance Committee, the state legislature’s budget committee, will hold agency briefings next week on Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget next week. The University of Wisconsin System’s agency briefing is scheduled for Thursday.

The briefing sessions begin Tuesday and can be viewed on WisconsinEye.

The non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s analysis of the governor’s proposed UW System budget can be viewed here.

State to launch OpenBook Wisconsin website

by University Communications

OpenBook Wisconsin, a new website that will be launched this spring by the Department of Administration, is intended to provide public access to detailed information about state government expenditures, including at UW–Madison and the UW System.

Please read a message from state Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch to all state employees about the launch of the website.

The website stems from 2011 Wisconsin Act 32, s.16.413 of the Wisconsin Statues, which requires the DOA to create a searchable website with information about all state agency expenditures in excess of $100. The database will eventually include all state and UW salaries and fringe benefits, grants paid by state agencies, and all contract payments made by any agency or UW institutions. For ease of administration, all expenditures, regardless of amount, will be included. Read more »

Message to state employees from Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch

by University Communications

Good morning,

This spring, the State plans to launch its expenditure disclosure website called OpenBook Wisconsin. This website is part of Governor Walker’s on-going effort to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

OpenBook Wisconsin will give citizens easy access to State of Wisconsin expenditures, or the amount of money we spend to do business. It includes the payments we have made for purchasing goods or services, and we currently include data about the expenditures made by state government from fiscal year 2008 through the most current month. You will be able to search the website database by state agency, expense (expenditure) category and vendor by fiscal year.

Employee salary and fringe benefit data will not be included in this first phase, although employee names may appear in the initial launch if they have received reimbursement for travel or other work expenses. Please see below for more details.

Future Phases

To comply with state law, we will be adding employee salary and fringe payments data for the State, University of Wisconsin, Legislature and the courts in the coming months. We will also be adding the grants that have been awarded, as well as the contracts that our state agencies have with vendors.

  • Employee salary and fringe benefits: salary information is public under state law. The website will include employees on central payroll including name, agency, class, gross pay, and year to date gross pay. Fringe benefits data will be provided in total, and not listed by individual employees to protect your confidentiality in your health care plan.
  • Grants made or contracts entered into: will include capital projects by fiscal year, as well as VendorNet contracts by fiscal year.

Employee Information

We are taking precautions to protect sensitive employee information. The OpenBook Wisconsin website will not post the social security number, home address or home telephone number of any employee. Transactions will show the employee’s agency.

Your safety is our priority while we meet our legal obligations to provide public information under state law. While there are very limited reasons which justify the redaction of an employee name under the law, we are taking efforts to redact names that would potentially jeopardize an employee’s safety (for example: an undercover agent or domestic abuse victim).

If you have concerns that your safety may be jeopardized by including your name on the website, please contact your Human Resources Director. Your agency will work with legal counsel to determine if your name should be redacted. 

We are excited about this opportunity to make state government more transparent for the citizens of Wisconsin.

Thank you,

Mike Huebsch


Wisconsin Budget Calls for $3 Million for Rural and Urban Medical Programs

by University Communications

The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health will receive $3 million in state funding to expand training programs for students who intend to practice in rural and inner-city locations, Gov. Scott Walker announced.

More on the state budget and higher education

by University Communications

Some articles of interest on the state budget proposed by Gov. Scott Walker:

Wisconsin State Journal: University, tech college officials satisfied with higher education funding

WisPolitics: Legislative leaders’ budget address reaction

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Universities overtake prisons in Gov. Walker’s budget

Associated Press: Walker calls for income tax cut in two-year budget

Dept. of Administration: Summary of UW System budget

The Daily Cardinal: Proposed 2013-’15 state budget

More details on UW-Madison and the 2013-15 budget

by University Communications

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal includes many provisions that affect the University of Wisconsin–Madison, including:

· $89 million in new funding to the UW System to preserve and expand access and quality. This funding would come in the form of a “block grant” that provides flexibility in how the funding is used.

· $20 million in new funding for an Incentive Grant program for new initiatives that will boost the UW System’s workforce development efforts

· $3.75 million for the UW Carbone Cancer Center to support the creation of the Wisconsin Oncology Network of Imaging Excellence

· $3 million for School of Medicine and Public Health programs geared toward increasing the number of physicians practicing in rural areas and inner city areas of the state.

For further budget details, read the Budget in Brief.


Interim Chancellor Ward statement on Gov. Walker’s budget proposal

by University Communications

University of Wisconsin–Madison Interim Chancellor David Ward said Wednesday that Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal is a concrete step toward renewing Wisconsin’s promise of making higher education accessible and affordable for all its residents. After several cycles of declining state funding support to Wisconsin’s public universities, Walker proposes reinvesting in the university system for the 2013-15 biennium.

“This is the best budget we have seen in many cycles,” Ward said.

“While the university will have to confront many challenges, that task becomes much more manageable when we are not heading into the future with a readymade deficit,” Ward said. “I applaud the governor for recognizing the need to re-establish the state’s partnership in funding quality higher education in Wisconsin.”

See more from Ward …

UW System statement on Gov. Walker’s budget proposal

by University Communications

UW System leaders praised Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to reinvest in higher education in the 2013-15 biennial state budget .

“Governor Walker recognizes and appreciates the role that UW institutions play in boosting our state’s economy,” said UW System President Kevin P. Reilly. “Job creation and workforce development are top priorities for everyone, including the UW System. We look forward to working with all Legislators from both parties to advance this budget.”

See more reaction from UW System leaders …



Budget address set for 7 p.m. tonight

by University Communications

Gov. Scott Walker’s 2013-15 budget address will begin at 7 p.m. It can be viewed online at WisconsinEye.

Walker to deliver budget address Wednesday

by University Communications

Gov. Scott Walker will lay out his proposals for the state’s 2013-15 biennial budget at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Walker has given some insight into his plan to the press. He has said he’ll propose giving the UW–Madison chancellor the authority to set compensation plans at the campus, and giving the same power to the UW Board of Regents at other UW System campuses. Walker has also announced his plan for a $20 million grant program to support workforce and economic development at UW System schools, a block grant to provide flexibility to UW System schools, a plan to ease class credit transfers between UW System and Wisconsin technical colleges, and funding for the UW Flexible Degree option. The governor also proposes increasing block grants for the UW System by $110.7 million.

The budget address can be viewed online live Wednesday night at WisconsinEye.

UW-Madison a leader in value among public universities

by University Communications

According to a national survey, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is among the best values in public universities. For the second year in a row, the magazine Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has ranked UW-Madison 13th in its list of 100 best values in public colleges.

UW System unveils new branding campaign

by University Communications

UW System unveiled a new branding strategy – “Knowledge Powers Wisconsin” – designed to highlight the essential role UW System institutions play in powering the state’s economic strength.

HR Design team releases strategic plan

by University Communications

The HR Design project team has released its strategic plan for the personnel system at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Campus leaders encourage employees review the plan. Related: Campus information sessions, web chats set.

System’s budget request will help boost economic growth in the state

by University Communications

The University of Wisconsin System is seeking reinvestment from the State to help power its contribution to workforce development and economic growth. Read more.

Walker says budget cuts to UW will not be permanent

by University Communications

A $66 million cut to the University of Wisconsin System’s budget will not be made permanent, Gov. Scott Walker said in a letter to state agencies. Read the Associated Press account.


Flexibility task force recommends changes to offer UW autonomy

by University Communications

A task force looking into UW System governance and operations is recommending a variety of changes that would give the UW System more autonomy over operational and governance matters, and transfer some authority over spending from state government to the Board of Regents. Read more.

Appointment to leverage the university’s economic development assets to drive job growth

by University Communications

David A. Brukardt has been named associate vice president for economic development for the University of Wisconsin System. UW System President Kevin P. Reilly announced the appointment, following a national search.  In this new position, Brukardt will strengthen relationships between the university system and businesses statewide while also connecting researchers and others among the various campuses, with a goal of driving statewide economic growth. For more information, click here.