Blank lays out budget landscape to campus

UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says the upcoming debate over the state’s biennial is particularly important for the university, as well as for the economic health of Wisconsin.

“The higher education system in this state is central to its long-term economic competitiveness and growth,” Blank says in a recent post on her blog, Blank’s Slate.

“Having a world-class educational and research institution in UW-Madison gives this state a big advantage in attracting high-tech and growing industries to this state. Maintaining the excellence of our university and our overall Wisconsin system should be a high priority for anybody who cares about future job growth,” she says.

Following several budget cycles of funding cuts from the state, and with fund balances drained to cover for gaps in state funding, additional reductions in state support will require the university to implement substantial cuts, Blank says.

“With no change in the budget, we will need to cut a little more than 4 percent from all of our state and tuition-funded programs,” she says.

In the blog and in her address to the Faculty Senate, Blank expressed support for the state budget proposal put forth by UW System President Ray Cross and the Board of Regents seeking an additional $95.2 million over the next biennium. The proposal includes a “Talent Development Initiative,” which she said would help the state’s economy by “attracting, developing and retaining high-impact talent.”