Update on budget proposal and campus forums

Last week, I shared my concerns with you about the forthcoming state budget and its implications for our university.

On Tuesday, Gov. Scott Walker released his budget plan for the UW System and as expected, it includes a funding reduction of $300 million and formation of a public authority providing greater autonomy from state government. Adding together all of the recent cuts, it would amount to a $86 million annual reduction for UW-Madison.

Never in its 160-year history has the university faced cuts of this magnitude. If these reductions take effect as proposed, they will trigger employee layoffs and cuts to programs around campus. I am deeply troubled by how this proposal would harm our students’ education along with our hard-working, dedicated faculty and staff.

I believe the proposed cut is too big for UW-Madison and too big for the state of Wisconsin.

I’ll be speaking to the Board of Regents at 1:15 p.m. today about these issues.

That meeting, and the Friday meeting of the Regents, will be streamed live on the Web at <http://go.wisc.edu/regents>

As the budget moves through the legislature, I intend to keep you informed. Starting next week, a series of budget forums will be held. I invite you to attend so I can give you the latest information on how the budget will affect UW-Madison and take your questions and input.

Additional forums delving more deeply into issues affecting undergraduate and graduate students will be held later in February. The initial sessions will be held:

–Wednesday, Feb. 11, 11 p.m.-12 a.m., Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 1306, 750 Highland Ave. Free parking for this session will be available at Lots 60, 74, 82, and 85.

-Thursday, Feb. 12, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Varsity Hall, Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.

-Friday, Feb. 13, 9-10 a.m., Ebling Auditorium, Microbial Sciences, 1550 Linden Dr.

Employees may attend without loss of pay. Interpretation services for Hmong, Spanish, Mandarin and Tibetan speakers will be provided at the Wednesday and Thursday forums. Individuals requesting sign language interpretation or captioning should contact Argyle Wade by Monday, Feb. 9, at 608-890-0341 or argyle.wade@wisc.edu.

As you may know, today, Feb. 5 is Founders’ Day, the anniversary of the first class held here in 1849.

In that time, the university has weathered numerous challenges and difficulties to take its place as one of the world’s great universities. I will do everything I can to keep UW-Madison and the Wisconsin Idea healthy and strong.

For the latest updates, visit http://budget.wisc.edu/.


Chancellor Rebecca Blank