“We have not had a chance to study in great detail the proposal today from the Republicans on the conference committee. We welcome the movement to restore some funding to the UW System. But it appears the proposal would still leave the university with an $86 million cut, which would require significant downsizing of faculty and enrollments in the future and not advance the university’s economic stimulus initiatives. An $86 million cut would still be about $35 million more than the governor’s proposal and $60 million more than the senate proposal.
“While we recognize this is another step in the bargaining process, nevertheless we are concerned with the specifics of this proposal. Eliminating all of the chief academic officers in the UW System would greatly hinder our management ability. They are responsible for overseeing academic programs, student services, faculty hiring, and running the university system effectively and efficiently. Their work saves the state millions each year. The UW System has the lowest administrative costs in the nation. If we funded our administrative costs at the national average, it would cost the state $115 million extra per year. It is also important to point out that these employees are not political appointees. All were hired through a rigorous, national merit-based search-and-screen process.
“Retaining the 10 percent surcharge on non-resident students would increase non-resident tuition 23 percent to 25 percent for this fall. This could actually reduce access for Wisconsin residents. Non-resident undergraduate students subsidize in-state students by $26 million per year, which is equivalent to state support for 5,200 resident undergraduates. Even a 10 percent reduction in out-of-state undergraduate students due to increased tuition would mean the loss of support for 2,840 resident undergraduates.
“Prohibiting state-funded advertising is problematic because federal and state laws require the university to advertise job vacancies for retiring faculty and staff. Advertising also allows us to reach out to students who may not be aware of college opportunities available to them and better distribute enrollment to campuses with capacity.”