Doyle proposes $250 million in cuts to UW System budget
Jim Doyle presented his 2003-05 budget bill to the state Legislature
last night, proposing cuts to the UW System budget that are
so deep they threaten the quality of and access to higher education
at UW-Eau Claire and throughout the System.
has proposed to cut $250 million in state GPR funding from the
UW System over the next two years, which translates into about
$12.5 million for UW-Eau Claire. By way of comparison, our cuts
in the current 2001-03 biennium totaled approximately $2.5 million.
some of the budget cuts, Gov. Doyle has proposed that tuition
be increased up to $250 a semester to bring it more in line
with the average at other Midwest public universities. To ease
the burden on our neediest students, he has proposed $20 million
in financial aid to help offset those increases. I applaud the
initiative to make sure financial aid is available.
budget bill is alarming, but we must remember the numbers will
likely change as the budget bill makes its way through the state
legislative process. The proposal presented by the Governor
is the first step in what will likely be a multi-month negotiating
process before the state Legislature passes a final budget bill.
President Katharine Lyall has called these proposed cuts the
deepest the UW System has faced in its history. In my view,
our challenge will be to manage our reductions in a way that
preserves our capacity for excellence until we come out of this
hope the final cuts to the UW System budget are far less than
those proposed by the Governor, we expect them to be significant
given the state’s $3.2 billion budget shortfall. We will
work hard for -- and hope for -- the best but plan for the worst.
It will not be business as usual for UW-Eau Claire or any other
administrators will work with our campus community as we try
to identify ways to absorb the cuts while continuing to provide
students with the high-quality education they expect and to
serve the Chippewa Valley region as we have in the past.
do our best to keep you informed about the state budget situation
as the process moves forward. To help us share information quickly,
I have asked the News Bureau to create a State Budget Update
Web site where information will be posted as it becomes available.
Check the site often, www.uwec.edu/NewsBureau/StateBudgeUpdate.
You also will find the Web site by going to the State Budget
Update heading under Headline News on UW-Eau Claire’s
I also encourage
you to participate in the university’s open forums Provost
Ronald Satz is hosting, to provide information while giving
you a chance to ask questions and share suggestions regarding
the budget. You will find a schedule of those forums on the
State Budget Update Web site.
will be the key to maintaining campus morale during these difficult
and challenging times. We are determined to work at developing
a shared understanding of what is and isn’t true as we
move forward. Clarity of information and rationale for any actions
taken in response to this daunting challenge will be a priority.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
March 5, 2003