Vol. 52, No. 25Tenth Week • Spring Semester • March 28, 2005

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Featured Articles

State budget update

38th annual Jazz Festival begins this week

Kind to seek student, faculty input Wednesday

Celebration will mark Jewish and Indian holidays

Governor's visit promotes Institute for Discovery

Alumna Elizabeth Willis to give poetry reading

April is Native American Awareness Month

Alumna Ruth Clusen dies, leaves national legacy

Kohl speaks to Senior Americans'' Day participants


State budget update: Doyle's plan goes before Legislature, campuses receive allocation notices
Gov. Jim Doyle recently proposed his state budget for the 2005-07 biennium. The budget is now before the state Legislature, which hopes to have a bill on the Governor’s desk sometime in June.

UW-Eau Claire faculty and staff may attend one or more of a series of upcoming meetings and forums to learn more about the budget and to offer ideas and comments.

Legislative deliberations began with a series of Joint Committee on Finance hearings around the state. Interim Chancellor Vicki Lord Larson testified at the committee’s hearing in Menomonie on March 14, stressing the importance
of financial assistance to assure a UW education is accessible to students from all economic backgrounds and the critical need for state support of the UW System’s efforts to prepare an educated workforce to fuel the state’s economy in the future. (Read the full text of Larson's testimony.)

The Governor’s budget included enhanced funding for several financial assistance programs and a number of standard budget adjustments, such as fringe benefits and utilities. The Governor also proposed funding for efforts to retain high-demand faculty, domestic partner benefits and — in the second year of the biennium only — new faculty positions. The budget does not address a pay plan for faculty and other unclassified staff at this time. To balance his proposed enhancements, the Governor built into his budget a requirement that the UW System achieve systemwide efficiencies totaling $65 million and 200 FTE positions over the two-year period. Of the total, $20 million are one-time reductions in 2005-06. The remaining $45 million and all 200 positions are to be base reductions spread over the two years and continuing in future years.

On March 11, on the assumption that the final biennium budget will be very similar in general design to the Governor’s proposal, the UW System Board of Regents approved budget allocation decision rules that System administration is to use to allocate the provisions of the Governor’s budget to individual UW campuses for the 2005-06 fiscal year. No action was taken on decision rules for 2006-07.

UW-Eau Claire received last week an allocation notice from System administration indicating the share of the systemwide budget reductions that must be accomplished at this campus. The total campus reduction for 2005-06 in the general operations budget (Fund 102 and related) is $1,488,000. Of this amount, $496,000 is one-time and $992,000 is base. The base reduction amount can be expected to increase to more than $1.2 million in 2006-07.

Regents’ decision rules do not allocate a specific FTE position reduction target to the campuses. Each campus is expected to reduce positions as necessary to achieve its target funding reduction. Systemwide, position reductions must meet or exceed the 200 FTE threshold in the Governor’s budget. If the FTE reduction is not achieved, System will inform each campus of how much additional reduction is necessary.

The Governor’s budget and the regents’ principles and guidelines are consistent in the priority that is placed on classroom instruction. As a plan is developed to achieve the required reductions, every effort is being made to not reduce the number of faculty and instructional staff who provide direct instruction in the classroom. To do this, however, all other aspects of the budget will be scrutinized.

The chancellor, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, and vice chancellor for business and student services, working together and with their respective staffs, have begun the process of developing a reduction plan.

The University Bulletin will provide periodic updates to the campus community as the budget process unfolds. In addition, several meetings and open forums have been scheduled to provide opportunities to learn more about the budget and to offer ideas and comments.

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University Bulletin
Published weekly during the fall and spring semesters by the UW-Eau Claire News Bureau. News items and notices should be sent to the News Bureau, Schofield 201, by 10 a.m. Monday for publication in the following week’s issue. E-mail submissions to Julie Poquette at poquetjm@uwec.edu are encouraged. Faculty/staff news items are published on a space-available basis.

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News Bureau
Julie Poquette, Editor, UW-Eau Claire News Bureau, Schofield 201, (715) 836-4741
Diane Walkoff, Editorial Assistant. Updated: March 31, 2005

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