The following statement by Katharine Lyall, president of the University of Wisconsin System, was released today following Governor Scott McCallum’s biennial budget address:

“We have worked hard during the past year to demonstrate how the UW System can help energize Wisconsin’s long-term growth in the new economy. The recent, highly successful, Wisconsin Economic Summit underscored this, and Governor McCallum has said publicly that he shares the view that the university is a key player in the state’s new economy.

“But he clearly feels constrained by the financial circumstances he’s inherited and by the revenue figures available to him today. I am hopeful that our final funding levels for 2001-03 will be a significant improvement over what the Governor proposed today.

“Wisconsin needs to grow its way out of its current economic difficulties. The best way for us to hold and attract college graduates, overcome our impending shortage of 100,000 workers, and address our status as a high-tax state, is by investing in the resources that promote growth. The UW System is one of those resources. The Regents, our institutions, and our students will continue to advocate for targeted investment in growth throughout this legislative session. We expect to work productively with the Governor and the Legislature in reaching the best possible investment package for Wisconsin’s future.”

Statement by Jay L. Smith, President, UW System Board of Regents

“The Board of Regents realizes that this state budget will be a tight one. The UW System will do the very best we can with the resources we’re given. Nonetheless, we continue to believe that this is the time for the state to invest in its future. The new initiatives we proposed last August do just that, with a series of workforce development efforts and other programs that will help the state build the `New Wisconsin Economy.’ Today’s proposal by the Governor is the start of a lengthy conversation with him and with the Legislature. During that process, we will try to demonstrate that the more we receive from the state the more we can do for the state in addressing its economic development needs.”

Media Contact

Kevin Boatwright UW System 608-263-2227