UW-Madison and the State Budget https://budget.wisc.edu Information on the state budget’s impact on the university Fri, 26 May 2017 20:23:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Finance committee approves $36M funding increase for UW System https://budget.wisc.edu/news/finance-committee-approves-36m-funding-increase-for-uw-system/ Fri, 26 May 2017 17:07:41 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2927 The University of Wisconsin System would receive a funding increase of more than $36 million over the next biennium under the budget proposal approved Thursday by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance (JFC).

The committee voted 12-4 to pass an omnibus motion that included 23 provisions, including $5 million for an innovation fund to increase enrollment in high demand areas and $26.25 million for outcome-based funding. This is less than the $37.5 million requested by UW System, but the motion gives the Board of Regents the authority to create the system to distribute the funds instead of setting them in state statute as proposed by Gov. Scott Walker.

Chancellor Blank supported the significant changes made by the committee to the outcome-based funding proposals.

“While we have concerns with some of the provisions included in the motion passed by the committee, I was pleased to see that the outcome-based funding included by the committee both rewards maintaining excellence and calls for creating peer groups for each campus instead of pitting UW System schools against each other,” said Blank.

The committee opted not to include a 5 percent tuition decrease proposed by Gov. Walker, but instead included a continuation of the 4-year tuition freeze for in-state, undergraduate tuition across UW System campuses for the next two years.

The new Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership at UW-Madison will receive $1.5 million annually under the motion as well. The center will be dedicated to the study of public leadership and is proposed to be housed jointly at the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Department of Political Science. Faculty committees in the La Follette School and Department of Political Science unanimously voted to approve moving forward with the concept of the center prior to legislative interest in funding it.

The committee approved additional support for several important UW-Madison health programs. These include an additional $100,000 annually for the rural physicians residency assistance program run by the School of Medicine and Public Health and an $50,000 annually for Alzheimer’s research proposed by Gov. Walker. The committee also added $490,000 annually for the Carbone Cancer Center for its precision medicine program, which will expand access to better cancer treatments for more Wisconsin residents, especially those in rural areas.

In other notable provisions, the JFC motion:

  • Requires the Board of Regents to revise segregated fee policies so that classification of fees as allocable or non-allocable is consistent across all campuses.  It does not include a freeze on segregated fees or the opt-out provision proposed by Gov. Walker.
  • Requires UW System to contract with an independent accounting firm to conduct an annual financial audit in both years of the next biennium, rather than having the Legislative Audit Bureau perform such an audit.
  • Expands eligibility for tuition and fee remissions for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans.
  • Exempts from nonresident tuition certain members of the Wisconsin National Guard or reserves.
  • Prohibits the Board of Regents from requiring that only those eligible to be granted tenure can be considered for appointment as president of the UW System or chancellor or vice chancellor of an institution.
  • Deletes the requirement that there be a new Flex Option program geared toward assisting CNAs in becoming registered nurses.
  • Authorizes the Board of Regents to create an engineering school at UW-Green Bay.

It is expected that the committee will take up the compensation reserves plan toward the end of the budget process. The omnibus motion for the UW System did not allocate the $35 million Gov. Walker included in his budget for the tuition freeze, but the JFC co-chairs stated most of those funds will be used to cover the cost of salary increases for UW System employees through the compensation reserve fund.

Similarly, no action has yet been taken by the committee on the capital budget, which controls the state’s building program.  And changes to the early college credit program will be considered when the committee takes up the Department of Public Instruction section of the state budget.

Earlier in the budget process the committee removed many troubling policy items including faculty workload requirements and requiring students to have an internship before they graduate. In addition, the committee approved $10 million in additional funding for the Higher Educational Aids Board for financial aid on Tuesday with $5.6 million of those funds targeted to UW System students.

Both houses of the legislature need to pass the budget as well, but no major changes to the JFC proposal are expected in either house before it is sent to the governor for his signature. Passage by the committee is expected next month.

New leadership center inspired by Gov. Thompson’s legacy https://budget.wisc.edu/news/new-leadership-center-inspired-by-gov-thompsons-legacy/ Fri, 26 May 2017 16:45:27 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2925 A new center named for Wisconsin’s longest-serving governor and dedicated to the study of public leadership is proposed to be housed jointly at the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and Department of Political Science.

The Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership will make significant contributions to public policy and leadership, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said.

Read more

Chancellor Blank statement on Joint Finance action https://budget.wisc.edu/news/chancellor-blank-statement-on-joint-finance-action/ Thu, 25 May 2017 21:44:05 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2917

I am grateful that members of the Joint Finance Committee today supported reinvesting in the UW System. New funding included in the state budget will be used by UW–Madison and campuses across the state to educate students and prepare them to become the next generation of highly-skilled employees needed by employers in Wisconsin and beyond.

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UW System President Ray Cross statement on Joint Finance action https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/uw-system-president-ray-cross-statement-on-joint-finance-action/ Thu, 25 May 2017 21:43:57 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2923 “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 https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/omnibus-motion-on-uw-system-funding-debated/ Thu, 25 May 2017 18:58:09 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2910 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 https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/uw-system-budget-scheduled-for-thursday-vote/ Wed, 24 May 2017 14:33:16 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2908 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 https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/vote-on-uw-system-budget-postponed/ Tue, 23 May 2017 19:10:24 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2904 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 https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/chancellor-blank-statement-on-tommy-g-thompson-center-for-public-leadership/ Tue, 23 May 2017 19:00:10 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2906 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 https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/joint-finance-committee-will-take-up-uw-system-budget-tuesday/ Wed, 17 May 2017 16:28:30 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2900 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” https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/cross-walker-proposal-best-budget-the-uw-system-has-seen-in-a-decade/ Fri, 31 Mar 2017 14:27:55 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2894 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