In response to Governor Walker’s announcement this morning regarding the proposed University of Wisconsin System budget for the 2015-17 biennium, the UW System is sharing the following statements from leadership:

Ray Cross, President, University of Wisconsin System

The state of Wisconsin clearly is facing some very difficult budget challenges, and the University of Wisconsin System, like every entity in state government, has been preparing for the anticipated significant cuts to our budget. Make no mistake, the proposed cuts are substantial, and they will impact every one of our institutions.

The Governor has also offered an opportunity for the UW System to enter into a new relationship with the state, one that provides public authority status. This new public authority will mean added autonomy and new responsibilities. The UW System and its institutions will gain the ability to manage procurement, human resources and some building projects – important flexibilities that we have long sought. These flexibilities will allow us to manage pricing in a way that reflects the market and actual costs. The flexibilities also ensure our continued commitment to affordability, accessibility and quality educational experiences for our students and Wisconsin families.

To get through the demanding times ahead, we know that we will be called on to make challenging and difficult decisions. It won’t be easy. Taking a longer view, our new relationship with the state will allow us to leverage the System’s great resources, talent, and ideas to even better serve the people and economy of Wisconsin.

Michael J. Falbo, President, UW Board of Regents

Throughout its history, the University of Wisconsin System has evolved to meet changing needs and demands.  The new public authority status proposed by the Governor for the UW System maintains the strong relationship between this outstanding public university and the people of this state. It also provides the university with the opportunity to be more responsive, more efficient, and even more closely committed to the Wisconsin Idea that defines it. Under this new relationship, we will continue to be accountable to the people of Wisconsin. We will continue to support the workforce with an infusion of our graduates, and make certain we fulfill our promise to the diverse communities and partners who turn to the university for solutions to shared problems, and to the taxpayers who rely on us to educate and empower the citizens of this state.

Regina Millner, Vice-President, UW Board of Regents

One of the most important responsibilities of the Board of Regents is to maintain the University of Wisconsin System’s hard-earned, well-deserved and longstanding reputation for excellence in academia and research. It is an essential part of the university’s ongoing commitment to meeting the needs of the students, families, and the state it serves. The principles of tenure and shared governance are integral to delivering on that commitment. While the Governor’s proposal will have implications on tenure and shared governance, the Board of Regents is committed to ensuring that both remain hallmarks of the UW System and its institutions.