Regents approve 2021-23 biennial budget request

The UW System Board of Regents today approved its 2021-23 biennial operating budget request, seeking a state funding increase of 3.5 percent in each of the next two years, providing $95.7 million over the next two years for a number of initiatives.

“I strongly support the biennial budget request forwarded by UW System leadership and approved by the Board of Regents,” UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says in a statement. “It’s a modest proposal that recognizes that investment in higher education is key to boosting our economy, even in difficult times.”

Among the initiatives outlined in the budget request:

• Expand and enhance online educational opportunities.
• Support 20 county-based agriculture positions within the Division of Extension at UW-Madison.
• Expand initiatives to support students’ mental and behavioral health.
• Expand educational opportunity into Wisconsin’s prisons.
• Launch the Wisconsin Tuition Promise, to extend UW-Madison’s Bucky’s Tuition Promise to all UW System campuses.
• Increase funding for existing student loan forgiveness programs for teachers and school leaders, and provide UW students stipends to teach in schools during their second semester of junior year.

The board also approved a capital budget request that includes bonding for two key UW-Madison projects, the replacement of the College of Engineering and Letters & Science academic buildings.

“A new College of Engineering building will help create new space for students, with the plan to increase the engineering undergraduate population by 1,000, helping to meet the demand from Wisconsin employers for more engineers,” Blank says. “A new Letters & Science academic building will create new classrooms that support active learning, modern technology, and collaborative learning – elements proven to boost educational engagement and outcomes.”

The request will be forwarded to the state Department of Administration, which collects agency budget proposal. Governor Tony Evers will sent his budget proposal to legislators early next year. The biennial budget must be approved by both legislative houses before returning to the governor for his signature.