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Regents approve UW System budget that shifts funding

The UW System Board of Regents on Thursday approved a 2017-18 operating budget that sets nonresident and graduate and professional school tuition rates for the coming academic year as well as rates for housing and student fees. The operating budget shows increased revenues for UW-Madison across all funds of approximately 2.5 percent.

However, the approved budget also shifts to other system schools a percentage of returned lapse funding that would traditionally go to UW-Madison. The shift came after UW System leaders stressed that all campuses continue to face financial challenges heading into the new biennium.

While UW-Madison leaders agreed, as a one-time measure, to share some portion of the normal allocation for the $50 million in returned lapse funding, Chancellor Rebecca Blank raised concerns about the size of the reduction prior to the vote. UW-Madison will receive approximately $13 million less over the biennium under the recalculated allocation of the lapsed dollars. The allocation formula for the other state dollars received by the UW System remains unchanged.

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Chancellor Blank statement on today’s Joint Finance Committee vote

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued the following statement regarding the Joint Committee on Finance’s vote on the state employee compensation plan.

“While we are still reviewing the actions taken by the Joint Finance Committee related to potential changes in health care benefits for state employees, I want to thank the members of the Committee for approving a compensation plan that includes an increase in pay for UW System employees. Providing this increase will help us attract and retain the best and brightest instructors, researchers and staff.”

Statement from UW System President Cross on Joint Finance action

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross today issued the following statement regarding the Joint Committee on Finance’s vote on the compensation plan for state employees:

“We thank the Joint Finance Committee for the compensation plan it approved today. Our faculty and staff work incredibly hard, and this increase recognizes that our institutions compete for talent at a national and international level. This pay plan represents the largest investment the State has made in UW employees in more than a decade.”

UW System President Ray Cross statement on Joint Finance action

“I would like to thank the members of the Joint Finance Committee for their support of the UW System. In particular, I want to thank Speaker Vos, Majority Leader Fitzgerald, Finance Co-Chairs Darling and Nygren, as well as Senator Harsdorf and Representative Born, for their leadership in bringing forward the UW System budget motion and their commitment to working with us throughout the budget process.

“We put forth a reasonable budget request that strategically aligns our resources with the state’s greatest needs. While we have concerns with some of the provisions, the vast majority of our requests were approved, and we look forward to working with the legislature on remaining issues, including our capital budget and compensation requests. Our Regents, Chancellors, and System leadership will continue to advocate for the UW System, our students, families, and the taxpayers of Wisconsin.”

Omnibus motion on UW System funding debated

The Joint Finance Committee has released an omnibus motion on the UW System budget. Read the motion here.

The committee is currently debating the motion. The meeting can be viewed on WisconsinEye.

UPDATE: The omnibus motion passed on a 12-4 vote.

UW System budget scheduled for Thursday vote

The co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee are saying that the UW System budget will be on the panel’s calendar for Thursday.

The committee is scheduled to start at 11 a.m. The session can be viewed live at WisEye.org.

Vote on UW System budget postponed

The UW System portion of the 2017-19 state budget has been pulled from today’s Joint Finance Committee’s calendar. The committee’s vote on UW System funding will be rescheduled at a later date.

Chancellor Blank statement on Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued the following statement on the announcement of the establishment of the Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership on campus.

We are delighted that UW-Madison has been chosen as the home for the Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership. We expect the center will make significant contributions to public policy and leadership in our state and nation. 

Gov. Thompson is a distinguished alumnus who has been a constant supporter of the university. He has helped build our capacity in world-changing areas such as biotechnology. Now through this center, his legacy will help forge closer ties between our researchers and state policy-makers in ways that benefit the people of Wisconsin and beyond. We are grateful for the state’s investment in and support of this work. 

The center, which has been in the works for two years, will embody three of the principles Gov. Thompson expressed during his long and distinguished career in public service: 

  • A belief in the value of objective, non-partisan professional research to inform public policy;
  • A belief that public universities and in particular their faculty have a central role to play in public life;
  • A belief in the Wisconsin Idea – that the university has a duty to ensure that discoveries and knowledge from campus are used to benefit the entire state and beyond. 

Gov. Thompson is one of the great leaders in Wisconsin history and we are privileged to honor his legacy. Just as he did during his time as governor, the Tommy G. Thompson Center will be committed to bringing people together to develop policy reforms that improve public leadership and the practices of American government.

Media coverage:

UW-Madison leadership center will be named for former Gov. Tommy Thompson

UW-Madison leadership center to honor Gov. Tommy Thompson

UW-Madison leadership center to be named after Thompson

Joint Finance Committee will take up UW System budget Tuesday

Joint Committee on Finance announced that it will take up the UW System portion of the 2017-2019 budget on Tuesday, May 23rd at 1:00 pm.

Budget papers for UW System can be viewed here.

Streaming of the session can be found here at WisconsinEye.

Cross: Walker proposal “best budget the UW System has seen in a decade”

UW System President Ray Cross on Thursday testified before the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, telling the panel “affordability, accountability, compensation, infrastructure maintenance, and flexibilities are important to the university system.”

“We are very pleased with what the Governor has proposed,” Cross said. “It provides the first investment of new state dollars the UW System has received in more than a decade. We appreciate this recognition of the critical role we play in strengthening Wisconsin’s economy and its workforce. Research continues to show that an investment in the UW System yields at least a ten-fold return.”

Cross’ prepared remarks can be found here.

Video of Cross’ appearance before the committee can be viewed here. (Cross’ testimony begins at the 379:00 mark.)

Media coverage:

UW System President: Walker’s Budget A ‘Move In The Right Direction’

UW System President Ray Cross: Walker proposal the ‘best budget’ for system in 10 years