Although we have not yet seen full details of Governor Walker’s plan, I am concerned about the magnitude of the proposed budget cuts and their impact on UW-Madison.
These proposed cuts are believed to be the largest in the history of the university. In the past, large cuts have always been mitigated by additional tuition revenue from resident and non-resident students.
The proposed cuts, on top of the reduction in the last state budget, would result in a more than 15 percent decrease in state funds to the university over a four- year period. Fully absorbing these cuts would have a harmful impact on our students and their educational experience.
I appreciate the opportunity for additional flexibility and management efficiencies that a public authority might bring, and would work hard to implement these effectively on our campus. It would be challenging, however, to engage in a major reorganization while also coping with a large budget cut.
The time-tested values of shared governance and tenure have made us strong and competitive. President Cross and Regent leadership have indicated that these values will continue to be honored through board policy.
As we learn more about the Governor’s proposal I will keep our campus community and governance groups informed. We will continue to advocate for funding levels and policies in the upcoming legislative session and budget debate that assure UW-Madison remains a top public research university.