Statement of Chancellor Rebecca Blank on Joint Finance vote

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank made the following statement following the Joint Committee on Finance’s 12-4 vote to pass UW System’s budget proposal.

“The Joint Committee on Finance was presented with a very difficult budget. We appreciate the members’ willingness to work with us to make the proposed cuts less challenging for the university.

We are grateful that the committee was able to reduce the cut by $50 million and provide funding to cover increased fringe benefit costs.

The steps toward flexibilities in procurement and building projects proposed by the Joint Finance Committee are welcome and should allow us to function more efficiently.

We also appreciate that committee members agreed to provide bonding for a much-needed addition to and renovation of our Chemistry Building, which will allow us to better meet the rising demand of students majoring in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines.

We are heartened to see today’s statement of President Cross and Regents Vice President Millner expressing a continuing commitment to shared governance and tenure.

As we have stated in the past, these principles are deeply valued by UW-Madison and we are glad to see the tenets of those principles will be upheld.

We expected and have been planning for a difficult budget over the next two years, and have already implemented some measures to help ease the burden of the budget cut.

Our number one goal is to continue to give our students the highest quality education possible, and we remain committed to working with the governor and legislators to make the case for renewed investment in higher education in Wisconsin.”