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.
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: July 27, 2001