Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Folks visiting my web site might be interested to know that the Wisconsin State Assembly is reportedly planning to cut the UW budget once again, according to an article in today's Wisconsin State Journal.

In addition to $96 million in general cuts to the UW System, the Assembly budget would cap tuition increases at 4 percent through 2011, cut $8 million in system administrative and communications positions and cut $4 million from the UW-Madison law school. It also cuts money for System building projects.

David Giroux, a spokesman for the System, said the cuts would be "very, very harmful to our students, to our research and people in every corner of the state."

The budget would also bar the state, as of Sept. 1, from paying the first 5 percent of a state employee's earnings into the state pension fund. That provision would apply to UW-Madison faculty and staff and is designed to save more than $163 million.

Black said the proposal amounts to a 5 percent pay cut for most state employees.

The budget would also raise health insurance premiums for most state employees.

Whether you feel these are helpful or harmful developments, if you are a stakeholder in the UW, I would urge you to get involved in this budget process by communicating your views to the State Assembly. I have.

UPDATE: UW-Madison Chancellor Wiley has released a statement on the Assembly budget, writing "For the last several budgets, we've been told to absorb cuts and 'wait until the next budget' for critically needed investments. Assembly Republicans want us to continue waiting as Wisconsin slips into a ruinous pattern of disinvestment that has gutted higher education in other states. This is simply wrong."

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