Budget cuts 40 positions, 42 courses

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Information compiled by Nathan Kober

April 20, 2016

 

Faculty and program cuts are on the way for UW System colleges, according to a report from the Board of Regents.

The portion of the report focusing on UW-Whitewater did not say how the campus will deal with the new cuts. According to the report, 40 positions and 42 courses were cut from Fall 2014 semester to Fall 2015.

Forty-two fewer courses has resulted in 118 fewer course sections for students across the four colleges.

State support for academic instruction decreased from $21 million in the ’09-10 state biennial budget to $9.6 million in ’15-17, a total decrease of more than 50 percent.

Other schools are cutting student employment, expanding class sizes, cutting access to tutoring and academic advising and cutting courses and faculty.

UW-Madison faces the largest cuts, expecting to lose more than 400 faculty and staff.

State support as a percentage of the total budget at UW-W has decreased by 50 percent since 1975.

There was some controversy at the latest Board of Regents meeting, as plans for each chancellor to present their information were abruptly ended.

UW System President Ray Cross asked for each chancellor in the system to create a one page summary on how they were planning to deal with the cuts.

Cross told the Wisconsin State Journal in an interview that he was concerned the presentations would be a  “two-hour drumbeat.” In his original request, he asked that the presentations be “factual, not whiny.”

Cross said the Regents should be focusing on the future instead of worrying about the budget already passed.

“We’re always thinking about the next budget,” Cross said. “A lot of decisions are made with that thought as a backdrop.”

The Wisconsin Democratic Members of the Joint Committee on Finance sent a letter to the Regents. The members said the decision to not have the chancellors present was a “disappointing” choice to avoid “a very important discussion on the future of the UW System.” 

Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) said it is important for Gov. Scott Walker to be held publicly accountable for his budget decisions.

“If the Governor doesn’t want stories in the news about him slashing UW System funding, maybe he should stop slashing UW System funding,” she said.