Chancellor Blank reaction to Tuesday JFC vote

Chancellor Rebecca Blank shared the following statement Tuesday, May 28 after the passage of a Joint Committee on Finance motion that extended the resident tuition freeze for two years, but did not support funding the freeze with the additional state funding requested by Gov. Tony Evers and UW System. The motion passed by a 12-4 vote.

“UW-Madison and the entire UW System have a positive influence throughout the state of Wisconsin—changing lives through research, teaching and economic impact.

“However, Tuesday’s vote by the Joint Committee on Finance stalls the momentum that had been building in support of higher education in the state of Wisconsin.

“Though we appreciate the committee must address many competing budget priorities, the motion for higher education does not keep pace with inflationary costs and misses an opportunity to increase funding for higher education at a time the state’s economy is growing and we should be increasing our competitiveness with our neighboring states.

“As a major economic engine for the entire state of Wisconsin, we educate the next generation of doctors and nurses, teachers and entrepreneurs, and engineers and technology innovators. The motion approved by the committee gives us little ability to invest in these students through enhanced services and financial aid, like the successful Bucky’s Tuition Promise program.

“As the process of finalizing the state budget continues, we and our many UW supporters will continue to make the case that UW-Madison is changing lives in communities all across Wisconsin.

“We ask that the full legislature amend the budget that moves out of the committee to invest in UW System and regain the momentum toward meeting the needs of the state.”