UW-Madison and the State Budget https://budget.wisc.edu Information on the state budget’s impact on the university Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:48:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Budget awaits governor’s signature https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/budget-awaits-governors-signature/ Mon, 18 Sep 2017 20:13:51 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2956 The Wisconsin State Assembly and Senate each passed the 2017-19 budget bill last week. The bill now goes to Gov. Scott Walker, who could sign it into law as soon as this week.

A comparative summary of the budget originally proposed by the governor and the version approved by the legislature can be viewed here, or click here for the UW System portion.

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State budget passes Senate, awaits Walker signature https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/state-budget-passes-assembly-awaits-walker-signature-2/ Sat, 16 Sep 2017 02:16:58 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2952 The Senate passed the state budget Friday on a vote of 19-14. The spending plan contains $36 million in new funding for UW System, among other provisions. It next heads to Governor Scott Walker for his signature and possible vetoes.

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Finance wrap-up motion contains UW items https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/finance-wrap-up-motion-contains-uw-items/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 03:16:03 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2949 The Joint Committee on Finance concluded its work on the 2017-19 state budget on Wednesday, Sept. 6 with a wrap-up motion containing three provisions that impact UW-Madison and its employees.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank thanked the members of the Committee for their work over the last several months, which yielded a UW System budget with $36 million in increased funding, increases in capital spending, and employee compensation.

“We asked for reinvestment in UW System and are grateful our message was heard by the members of the committee,” Blank said. “We’re also pleased to see employee compensation increases accelerated by the committee today, which will help us attract and retain talent.”

The first provision in the amendment, called the 999 or wrap-up motion, moves the dates of two 2 percent salary increases for state employees, including UW System employees, to July 1, 2018 (from Sept. 30, 2018) and Jan. 1, 2019 (from May 26, 2019).

A second provision added to the bill modifies language previously approved by the Joint Finance Committee regarding the qualifications of president and chancellor candidates at UW System universities.  This provision stipulates that institutions – rather than the UW System Board of Regents – are prohibited from having a policy requiring candidates to be tenurable.   A Regents working group is currently studying the process for UW System President and Chancellor searches and expects to make recommendations later this year.

A final provision in the wrap-up motion puts back in the budget bill language originally included in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget recommendations relating to faculty and instructional academic staff teaching workload reporting. The provision was removed from the bill earlier in the budget process by the Committee because it was non-fiscal policy.

Blank previously expressed concern about the teaching workload provisions, arguing that they do not take into account the broader mission of faculty and instructional staff. “UW-Madison faculty provide service to Wisconsin in three critical areas — teaching, research, and outreach,” says Blank. “Each of these services is important so any method of tracking faculty workload should include all three areas, not merely time spent in the classroom.”

The budget will now move the state Assembly and Senate before returning to Governor Walker for possible vetoes and his signature.

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President Cross statement on 2017-19 Capital Budget https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/president-cross-statement-on-2017-19-capital-budget/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 21:18:52 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2946 “I would like to thank Senator Darling and Representative Nygren for their support of the UW System. They made a commitment to work with us throughout the budget process, and we greatly appreciate this investment in our institutions. I also want to especially thank Representative Born and his staff for their leadership in the capital budget. They made investing in our infrastructure a priority and we appreciate their work.

“With the funding approved today, our campuses will be able to conduct maintenance, repair, and renovation projects, as well as provide important instructional space for our faculty and students.”

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Chancellor Blank statement on Joint Finance Committee vote on building projects https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/chancellor-blank-statement-on-joint-finance-committee-vote-on-building-projects/ Mon, 28 Aug 2017 20:22:21 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2943 University of Wisconsin—Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued the following statement today in reaction to the Joint Finance Committee’s unanimous approval of the Building Commission and Building Program omnibus motion:

“I appreciate the Joint Finance Committee’s vote today to add two very important projects for our campus to the Capital Budget, and their support of the governor’s recommendation for much needed ‘all-agency’ funding for limited scope maintenance projects that repair, renovate, replace, and upgrade building components and systems.

“The construction of a parking ramp on the west end of campus is a necessary step toward facilitating a badly needed expansion of the School of Veterinary Medicine. The school was built to accommodate 12,000 patients per year, but served more than 26,000 last year. The construction of the ramp involves no state tax dollars and will be paid for by revenues generated by UW-Madison, and will ultimately allow the School of Veterinary Medicine to serve Wisconsin farmers and pet owners better.

“The utilities project is a necessary upgrade to outdated thermal utilities, electrical utilities, sanitary and storm sewers, and water systems along Lathrop Drive and Bascom Hill. The need for the project was hastened by a steam pipe rupture in Radio Hall on our campus this past spring.

“We will continue to stress the need to include these projects in the state budget bill as the legislation goes to the Assembly, Senate and to Governor Walker for approval.”

 

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Regents approve UW System budget that shifts funding https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/regents-approve-uw-system-budget-that-shifts-funding/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 13:57:44 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2938 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.

“I recognize that like UW-Madison, all UW System campuses continue to face financial challenges as we head into the new biennium,” Blank said. “But a redirection of this size is concerning and will make it more difficult for UW-Madison to make the kinds of investments needed to maintain its excellence.”

UW-Madison has always received a larger percentage of state funding allocated to UW System campuses because of the size of its student body and the unique role the campus plays for the entire state. The considerable public service activities provided by faculty and staff have historically been fully funded with state dollars. UW-Madison is also the only public institution in Wisconsin that maintains medical, veterinary, pharmacy and law schools — high cost programs that serve a vital role for the state.

The state budget does give UW-Madison added revenue flexibilities, such as the ability to increase tuition on nonresident undergraduates and in graduate and professional school programs. Blank also noted that overall, the state budget contains important investments and shows a renewed commitment from the state to reinvest in the UW System.

“We’re appreciative of the investments in UW-Madison and UW System contained in the new biennial budget. We shared our message with audiences around the state and are grateful it was heard by Governor Walker and the state Legislature,” Blank concluded.

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Chancellor Blank statement on today’s Joint Finance Committee vote https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/chancellor-blank-statement-on-todays-joint-finance-committee-vote/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:27:53 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2934 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.”

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Statement from UW System President Cross on Joint Finance action https://budget.wisc.edu/budget-news/statement-from-uw-system-president-cross-on-joint-finance-action/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 21:11:44 +0000 https://budget.wisc.edu/?p=2932 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.”

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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.

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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.

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