MADISON — University of Wisconsin System President Katharine Lyall says she is pleased with today’s actions by Governor Scott McCallum concerning the 2001-03 state budget.
“From our perspective, this budget has come out well,” said Lyall. “It provides more than $30 million in new funding for the Economic Stimulus Package proposed earlier this year by the Board of Regents. This will enable us to serve the whole state by increasing enrollment in programs that lead to high-paying, high demand positions in Wisconsin.
“The budget also preserves outstanding support for our highest priority capital projects,” said Lyall, “a state-funded building program totaling $235 million over the next two years that will be matched from gifts and other sources. In addition, it also includes funding for the multi-year, $317 million BioStar initiative.”
Regent President Jay L. Smith also expressed his satisfaction with the budget outcome. “I know that the Governor had difficult choices to make. In supporting the UW System as strongly as he has, he has challenged all of us to make an even greater contribution to the economic development of Wisconsin. We intend to do just that.”
Lyall applauded McCallum’s policy-related vetoes. “He eliminated the requirement that the UW System accept all general education credits transferred from Wisconsin Technical College System institutions,” noted Lyall. “We appreciate that, since both we and the state board of the WTCS felt these decisions should be worked out through academic channels rather than mandated by the legislature. The Governor agreed. We are working hard to ensure the highest possible degree of credit transfer between our two systems, and will continue to report regularly to the public on our progress.”
The Governor also vetoed a proposal that would have required the Department of Administration to conduct a study of the feasibility of creating a “Postsecondary Education Commission” in Wisconsin. “We made the argument,” said Lyall, “that our voluntary PK-16 Leadership Council, which began earlier this year, is a better way to achieve a more seamless system of education in the state.”
Concluded Lyall, “The Governor clearly made education a priority in shaping this budget, and we appreciate that emphasis.”