This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield Hall 218
Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004
Governor's Spending Plan Will Strengthen
UW System, Mash Says
phone (715) 836-4741
fax (715) 836-2900
web http://www.uwec.edu
e-mail newsbur@uwec.edu

MAILED: March 16, 1999

EAU CLAIRE — Gov. Tommy Thompson's proposed state budget for 1999-2001 targets $60.5 million to support a range of University of Wisconsin System initiatives. Excluding compensation, the proposed budget increases state support for the System by 2.0 percent the first year and .7 percent the second year.
    Proposed new spending includes:
  • $7.3 million (GPR/fees) to improve UW library collections system wide
  • $4.9 million (GPR/fees) to hire 200 additional student instructional technology workers across the System and train new and existing student workers
  • $2 million (GPR) to create a need-based study abroad grant program for undergraduates
  • $2 million (tuition) to expand academic and career advising for students
  • $732,600 (GPR/fees) to fund pre-college initiatives that prepare minority and disadvantaged students for college
UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Donald Mash is encouraged by the governor's support for libraries and technology as well as the other priority budget items.
"We have been a leader in providing comprehensive library resources as well as state-of-the-art technology to increase learning and development for our students," Mash said. In addition, he said, at any given time nearly 13 percent of the students on campus have participated in a study abroad program, and UW-Eau Claire's pre-college programs have benefited many who might not have sought a college education without the university's assistance.
The governor also recommended the Board of Regents be granted administrative flexibility for tuition setting and spending to better serve students and to build upon the quality of UW System programs. Mash says this proposal, which allows the Regents to spend tuition revenues as earned without seeking further approval from the Legislature, is one of the keys to remaining institutionally nimble enough to serve the needs of the people of Wisconsin in a timely manner.
"There are needs in our region that we simply can't meet, such as educating additional older, part-time students, because of inflexibility in our operating procedures," he said. "The flexibility will enable us to manage our resources more effectively and enable us to do more for our citizens and Wisconsin."
On the subject of the System's compensation plan, which will be considered by the Legislature at a later date this spring, Mash said the ability to recruit and retain new faculty and academic staff will be critical in the next decade. A third of UW-Eau Claire's faculty and staff are 55 years of age or older.
"We must be able to replace these talented people in a competitive national market if we are to preserve our quality," he said, noting that UW System salaries have not kept pace with growth in Wisconsin personal income, inflation or peers.
"The flexibility measures, along with a strong compensation plan, will enable each campus to better serve our citizens' needs for education and ultimately create a larger and better educated work force to drive Wisconsin's economy," he said.
The governor's budget was forwarded to the Joint Committee on Finance of the Wisconsin Legislature. Approval of the final budget bill by the full Legislature is expected in June.

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UWEC [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 218
(715) 836-4741
newsbur@uwec.edu

Updated: March 16, 1999