“Students and families throughout Wisconsin would benefit from the proposed UW affordability initiative that Governor Doyle included in last evening’s State of the State address. The idea for a program like the ‘Wisconsin Covenant’ is consistent with what the UW System has been saying for more than two years — increasing access to the state’s public university system for students from all income levels must be one of the state’s top priorities.
“The impetus behind this type of financial aid investment and middle-school pledge program grew out of a challenge I issued to the Board of Regents last month to ‘think big’ about how we can help talented students who might struggle to pay for a college education, or might not consider that a college degree is possible. I’m pleased that the Governor also took a strong interest in this notion, and is willing to make the investment to help both middle-class students and students from the state’s lowest-income families. The Board and I will again be addressing these ideas in February, and we are anxious to engage the Legislature in this initiative as well.
“I’m also pleased that the Governor highlighted the impact and benefit of the UW’s worldwide leadership in stem cell research which will not only lead to discoveries to cure disease, but also grow the Wisconsin economy. I know, too, that our colleagues at UW-Milwaukee and their collaborators are encouraged by the Governor’s support for the Biomedical Technology Alliance.
“The UW is committed to building hope and providing opportunities for the state’s citizens, and we are anxious to work with the Governor, the Legislature, the schools, the business community, and the public to help ensure that a college education is possible for every interested and qualified Wisconsin student.”