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University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

State Budget Update
News Bureau Schofield Hall 201 Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
UW-Eau Claire Could See
Loss of $5 Million
MAILED: March 15, 2002

       EAU CLAIRE - The UW System Board of Regents' extraordinary decision to suspend admissions at all campuses was difficult yet necessary given the uncertainty of the state budget situation and continued suggestions that additional dollars be cut from the System budget, Chancellor Donald Mash said.
       "It would be irresponsible of us to continue to admit students if we are not certain that we'll have adequate funds to provide them with services," Mash said of the System-wide admissions freeze that went into effect March 9. "The Regents are concerned about the same thing we're all concerned about - protecting the integrity and quality of the UW System. We can't take a business as usual approach when shoes keep dropping."
       UW-Eau Claire already had closed admissions prior to the freeze. As a result, UW-Eau Claire will likely be at or over its 2,085-freshman class target number, bringing the total full-time student population to about 9,500 for the 2002-03 academic year, Mash said.
       "We're in a different situation than many of the campuses that had not yet completed their admissions process," Mash said. "Our concern is that we will have the number of students we had planned but not the funding to provide them with services."
       Under the current budget proposals, UW-Eau Claire could see a loss of $5 million between now and the end of the 2002-03 fiscal year, Mash said, noting that the figure includes loss of revenue resulting from proposed tuition limits.
       As a result, incoming and currently enrolled students may find fewer class sections and larger class sizes because the university won't be able to hire faculty to fill vacant positions, Mash said. The admissions freeze and budget difficulties also will limit the university's ability to provide opportunities for transfer students, special students, part-time adult students and other populations who typically apply later in the process, he said.
       Gov. Scott McCallum's budget reform proposal would have cut about $50.5 million from the UW System but allowed an average 10 percent tuition increase to make up about $9 million of that amount for a net reduction of $41.5 million. This would be a substantial cut but one that could have been managed without significantly affecting the quality of services provided to students, Mash said.
       However, the Joint Finance Committee proposed additional cuts, which would result in another $20 million reduction in the System's budget, about half of which would have come from the committee's recommendation limiting tuition increases. "They're cutting our budget and limiting our ability to generate revenue," Mash said. "The tuition piece doesn't help the state budget situation by one cent, but it does affect our ability to provide quality services for our students."
       After the System announced its admissions freeze, the Republican caucus of the state Assembly recommended yet another $60 million in cuts to the System budget, bringing the total proposed budget cuts to about $108 million. On March 15, the full Assembly voted on its budget bill and approved the recommendations of the Republican caucus. Budget repair consideration now moves to the state Senate.
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JB

UW-Eau Claire Home  News Bureau

UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: March 15, 2002