This news release describes past events and should be used for historical purposes only. Please note date of release.

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
News Bureau • Schofield Hall 201Eau Claire, WI 54702
phone: (715) 836-4741
fax: (715) 836-2900
Biennial Budget Supports a Range
of UW-Eau Claire Initiatives
MAILED: July 27, 2001

         EAU CLAIRE — The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will receive support for several important initiatives under the budget compromise reached this week by the legislative conference committee, according to UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Donald Mash.
         Among the measures receiving support in the 2001-03 state biennial budget is the Chippewa Valley Initiative, a program that advances work-force development opportunities in the area.
         “This is the first time UW-Eau Claire has received major budget support for a separate programmatic initiative,” Mash said. “The Chippewa Valley Initiative will allow us to expand the number of graduates in computer science, software engineering and management information systems, thus enabling the numerous technology companies in the area to grow their jobs here, and the jobs they offer will allow our best and brightest students to begin their careers here and become a part of the Chippewa Valley economy.”
         The Chippewa Valley Initiative, a joint venture between UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout and Chippewa Valley Technical College, is designed to improve educational services in the area and strives to enhance “Wisconsin’s Technology Valley.”
         Among other pluses in the budget are improvements in financial aid to support UW-Eau Claire students, which will help neutralize the increase in tuition recently adopted by the UW System Board of Regents.
         “While helpful, I wish the increase in financial aid funds was larger and tied directly to tuition increases in the future,” Mash said.
         Mash also cited the granting of additional management flexibility as a positive.
         “The flexibility included in the budget compromise will enable the university to be more responsive to changing needs with the funds it has available,” Mash said.
         This week’s budget compromise did not include funding for salary increases for university employees, Mash said.
         “The UW System remains hopeful that its proposed faculty and academic staff pay plan of 4.2 percent in each year of the biennium will be approved,” he said.
         Mash said he was disappointed with some of the budget outcomes, particularly the lack of support for libraries, study abroad programs and career advising.
         “We also needed additional utilities funding to help close the gap between our allocation and actual expenditures,” he said.
         While the UW System didn’t get everything it asked for, it’s obvious that the System is beginning to successfully make the case that the future of Wisconsin is tied directly to the investment the state makes in higher education, Mash said.
         “Overall, this is a very good budget considering the state’s steadily declining revenue picture since the governor made his recommendations in late January,” he said. “Our legislators did great work on our behalf.
         “What we need is modest but steady support year after year, and we have begun to receive that,” he said. “I’m hopeful that a good pay plan will follow.”

UW-Eau Claire Home [Administrative Offices] [News Bureau]

Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Schofield 201
(715) 836-4741

Updated: July 27, 2001