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Media memo: Chancellor: Continue UW-Eau Claire leadership role in face of budget cuts

January 24, 2012
TO:               News Editors and Directors


FROM:         Julie Poquette, News Bureau director

DATE:          Jan. 24, 2012

SUBJECT:    Chancellor: Continue UW-Eau Claire leadership role in face of budget cuts

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich encouraged UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff today to continue efforts to enhance academic quality, improve effectiveness and steward resources amid state budget reductions for public higher education. His comments, delivered during the university's spring semester opening meeting at 3 p.m. in Schofield Auditorium.

UW-Eau Claire has an important role to play in Wisconsin and nationally as a leader in liberal-arts-based education, Levin-Stankevich said in his opening-meeting address. He reviewed the challenges facing public higher education today, including reductions in state support, calls for increased efficiency and accountability, and a greater focus on education for jobs. UW-Eau Claire has a long-standing tradition of providing its students with a high-quality education, Levin-Stankevich said. That tradition is a foundation for the university's continued role as a leader in developing even more effective ways to prepare students for lifelong learning and careers that will demand an ability to adapt to change, he said.

The chancellor's remarks came a day after the release of a national study showing Wisconsin is one of the hardest hit states in terms of state funding reductions for higher education. The Grapevine report, an annual study by the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, said Wisconsin received a 20.9 percent cut in higher-education funding, making it one of three states that cut appropriations for colleges and students by at least 20 percent between 2010-11 and the current academic year. UW System officials, however, say the cut actually is 13.3 percent, which would drop the UW System to 11th in the national rankings for largest state budget cuts. The UW System figure does not account for the state's proposed $46 million lapse to UW System this fiscal year, which would increase the annual reduction by about 3.4 percent and put the state at fourth in the national rankings.

Read the full text of the chancellor's opening-meeting address.

To arrange an interview with the chancellor regarding UW-Eau Claire's role in helping Wisconsin meet challenges facing higher education, call 715-836-2327 or send email to sloanj@uwec.edu.

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JP/DW

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