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Media Memo: State Budget Impact on UW-Eau Claire

TO: News and Assignment Editors

FROM: Mike Rindo

DATE: Oct. 26, 2007

SUBJECT: State Budget Impact on UW-Eau Claire

The 2007-09 state budget signed into law Friday by Gov. Jim Doyle includes funding for a number of new initiatives that will enable the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire to enhance its educational opportunities, facilities and service to the Chippewa Valley region. Here are some of the specific items contained in the budget:

  • Davies Center — The budget authorizes UW-Eau Claire to proceed with the $48.8 million student-funded redevelopment of the Davies Center. No tax dollars will be used to construct or operate this facility; it will be paid for entirely by students. The university will now begin working with the Division of State Facilities to have a design team (architect and consultants) assigned to the project. A building committee consisting of students, faculty and staff will be formed to work with the design team to refine the project and begin design. Campus and public input will be sought at various points in the planning process. The design will incorporate sustainable "green" concepts. Planning will include consideration of alternative ways to reach objectives for the building, including whether to renovate and expand the existing building, use part of the existing building plus new space, or construct a new building. Alternative sites will be considered as part of this process.
  • New Academic Building — The budget does not include funds for UW-Eau Claire's proposed new Education and Services Building to replace the Brewer Hall/Campus School complex. This was as expected. The budget does fund a number of academic building projects at other campuses, which clears the way for construction funding for the UW-Eau Claire building in a future biennium, hopefully in 2009-11. UW-Eau Claire expects to pursue planning funds through the State Building Commission to begin planning this biennium. The proposed building would be the first new academic building on campus since the Human Sciences and Services building was constructed in 1982 on Water Street.
  • Growth Agenda
    • NanoSTEM Initiative — The budget will provide $2,969,700 for the collaborative initiative between UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout. Of this total, $1,821,100 is for UW-Eau Claire. This should support 12 new full-time equivalent positions. It also will provide some equipment and operating funds. UW-Eau Claire will increase the number of faculty and staff engaged in teaching, faculty-student undergraduate research and utilization of the Materials Science Center. The Materials Science Center houses sophisticated scientific equipment, which is available to regional business and industry for research and development purposes.
    • Nursing — This UW System initiative will provide $504,700 to fund five new full-time equivalent positions at UW-Eau Claire. The positions will enable UW-Eau Claire to develop a new accelerated nursing program for students who have a bachelor's degree in another field but want to pursue a new career in nursing. The funds also will allow the university to expand its satellite nursing program at Saint Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield.
    • Teacher Education — This UW System initiative includes about $150,000 and two new full-time equivalent positions at UW-Eau Claire. The funds will enable the university to enhance teacher education programs to better prepare students to work in urban and/or rural educational setting.

    The budget also includes a required lapse of $25 million from the UW System in each of the 2007-09 and 2009-11 biennia. A portion of the required lapse will be allocated to each campus within the system. At this time, UW System administration has not provided details of how the allocations will be made. However, the methods used to allocate lapses in the past suggest UW-Eau Claire could expect a lapse of as much as $1,250,000 this biennium.

    For additional information, contact Mike Rindo, executive director of University Communications, at 715-836-4742 or rindomj@uwec.edu.

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