- University of Wisconsion-Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells described a vote by the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee last month to freeze UW tuition and tax dollars for the next two years, as well as delays in new flexibilities, as "more functionally punitive than fiscally prudent."
- Gov. Scott Walker and UW System officials originally proposed a boost in funding of $200 million over two years, but the Joint Finance Committee vote would lower funding to the system and a state financial aid board, forcing the state's public universities to fund new initiatives with recently disclosed cash balances that sparked legislative outrage.
- Chancellors in the system are hoping to convince legislators not to approve the Joint Finance Committee changes, and Wells points out that the state is behind neighbors like Indiana and Minnesota, who have begun increasing higher education budgets in the last year after cutting them during the economic crisis.
From the article:
... The Joint Finance Committee changes, which would need approval by the Legislature and governor, would create a $62 million structural deficit beginning in 2015-'16, Wells said, "and we need to have the flexibility to use one-time cash balances to make some headway in closing the gap."
Rolling back the Joint Finance action would help the UW begin to address compensation for employees who have not had a general pay plan in five years, he said. The average faculty salaries are now more than 18% behind established peer groups, Wells said. "The gap is widening." ...