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Budget Message from Chancellor
Levin-Stankevich

RELEASED: Oct. 17, 2007

This message is being sent to all members of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus community from Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich.

You may have seen or heard news reports this morning quoting Gov. Jim Doyle as saying that the University of Wisconsin System campuses may not be able to open for the second semester if a new state budget is not passed.

We have received no indication from the UW System or the Governor’s Office to plan for such a contingency. Nor has our own assessment of possible budget scenarios led us to conclude that a complete closing of the university would even be a necessary option.

Unless the President of the UW System were to order campuses to close – an action that is likely unprecedented on such a scale – our contingency planning is and will continue to be directed toward doing everything possible to maintain our core mission: to put students and faculty together, and to continue the teaching and learning that results.

I have directed that a review of operational expenses be conducted to determine how UW-Eau Claire will make the reductions necessary to stay within whatever budget results (prior biennial budget or a new budget if passed by the legislature). We will need to do this while also meeting the additional costs mandated by previous legislatively approved pay plans, increased fringe benefits/health insurance costs, legislatively granted free tuition for veterans, inflationary costs and other cost pressures.

In doing so, my primary goal is to continue providing a nationally recognized quality education to our students and doing everything we can to facilitate students graduating in a timely manner. It also will be a guiding principle that we continue to build on the opportunities we have been identifying in our strategic planning work.

I have been actively communicating with our elected representatives, as have many of our friends in the regional business community. We encourage every individual to make their voices heard in Madison as well.

It is unfortunate that this ongoing budget stalemate has resulted in escalating political rhetoric. We continue to do all we can to move the political process forward in a constructive manner, while also preparing for potential outcomes of that process on campus and within the UW System.

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