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Chancellor encourages completion funding for new Science and Health Sciences Building during JFC hearing

| Gary Johnson

Photo caption: Chancellor James Schmidt spoke to members of the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday, April 11, at UW-Eau Claire.

Chancellor James Schmidt told the state Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee on Tuesday that enumerating funding for the completion of the new Science and Health Sciences Building at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is a great investment for the university and northwest Wisconsin.

“A new building will provide value to corners of the state far beyond the boundaries of the campus,” Schmidt says. “In the last 10 years, more than 350 businesses and organizations from across the state, country and world have collaborated with experts and students in Phillips Hall.

“By recommending this project, you would be voting to stabilize UW-Eau Claire’s academic enterprise, invest in western Wisconsin’s STEM and health care workforce, and energize this region’s economy.”

UW-Eau Claire is seeking $231.3 million in the 2023-25 biennial state budget for the second phase of funding to replace deteriorating Phillips Hall. The $340.3 million building will be built on the sites of the former Katharine Thomas and Putnam halls, two lower-campus residence halls that were demolished last fall. The 330,000-square-foot building will be next to Vicki Lord Larson Hall and McIntyre Library.

Schmidt was among hundreds of people expected to speak to the Joint Finance Committee Tuesday at UW-Eau Claire. The Joint Finance Committee is holding a series of public listening sessions around the state to give residents an opportunity to testify on what they believe should be priorities in the 2023-25 biennial state budget.

In his presentation, Schmidt encouraged the committee to prioritize investments that stabilize the UW System’s ability to recruit, retain and graduate the talented critical thinkers that Wisconsin’s communities and economies need.

The chancellor says an operating budget increase would help UW-Eau Claire maintain its educational quality and services that students expect. He added that a pay plan is essential for UW System campuses to retain talented instructors and advisors.

A video of highlights of the chancellor's message can be found here.