Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Proposed budget affects university, city

From $834 million in cuts to K-12 education to putting hundreds of millions of dollars into state highway projects, most people, businesses and cities could be greatly affected by Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget, including the city of Whitewater and the university.


The part of the budget that could potentially have the largest effect on UW-Whitewater is the break off of UW-Madison from the UW System.

Provost Beverly Kopper said she would like for UW-Madison to remain in the UW System, but if it doesn’t, her attention on UW-Whitewater won’t change.



“I guess how I look at it  [is] with or without [UW]-Madison in the system, UW-Whitewater will continue to do what we do best,” Kopper said. “That is to focus on our goal of providing our students with a world-class education, and that won’t change.

“We’ll continue to do what we do for our students, for our faculty [and] for our staff.”

Concerns about the research relationships and collaboration between UW-Whitewater and other four-year campuses in the system with UW-Madison have been raised as well, Kopper said.

The break off from the UW System would grant UW-Madison the ability to set its own tuition, govern its own campus, and allocate funds. In February, the Board of Regents sent a letter to Walker regarding their concerns with UW-Madison gaining autonomy, saying it would create unnecessary competition.

Chancellor Richard Telfer said he spoke with the governor about his concerns with the budget and asked for some of the same flexibility that UW-Madison would be granted.

Kopper said the governor expressed his willingness to work with other chancellors from other institutions for all campuses to have those flexibilities.

“All of us getting those flexibilities [is] very important,” Kopper said. “They’re going to be critical and very helpful for us to manage the budget cuts that we will take.”

Funding to campuses other than UW-Madison in the system would be cut by 11 percent. Kopper said she is not exactly sure how that money will be made up because they do not know what the bottom line is yet.

It’s “no question” the current situation is stressful for many students, faculty and staff, Kopper said.

“I think now more than ever, we need to come together as a campus,” Kopper said. “I think that’s one of the things that makes this campus very special is during times of stress; we do work together, we do come together.

“I don’t get much sleep lately worrying about this, thinking about what else we can do to support our faculty, support our staff [and] support our students.”

City of Whitewater

City Manager Kevin Brunner said Whitewater is very dependent on the state-shared revenue program, which could be cut by 10 percent.

“Compared to most cities, our per-capita income is pretty low because of the large number of students who don’t have the income that people out in the workforce are making,” Brunner said.



Over the years, Whitewater has received significant funds from the state shared revenue program, Brunner said.

As far as making up the money that could be lost, Brunner said he hopes there will be no layoffs.

“We expect there will be a gap between what we’re able to raise in terms of revenue and what we’ll be receiving in cuts from the state,” Brunner said. “I think right now everything’s on the table.”

The recycling program will no longer be required for municipalities under Walker’s proposed budget.  Brunner said the city has been recycling and diverting materials from landfills for about 15 years.

“We are going to have to look at continuing that program without state assistance,” Brunner said. “If we discontinued it, I’m afraid our cost to put the material in the landfill would be offset by the additional tipping fees we would have, so we have to carefully look at that.”

Brunner said he was concerned with the $834 million in cuts to K-12 education, and the cuts to the university as well.

“That’s going to impact, perhaps, the number of students attending the university,” Brunner said. “That would have a ripple effect through our whole economy.”


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Founded 1901
Proposed budget affects university, city