University finances back on track

New budget roadmap moves future in a positive direction

Carina Lopez Quintero, News Editor

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Dwight C. Watson greets new Warhawk families at their doorstep on June 11, 2020, in Milton, Wisconsin. Chancellor Watson was helping colleagues in the admissions office deliver “A Warhawk Lives Here” yard signs. (UW-Whitewater photo/Craig Schreiner) (UW-WHITEWATER PHOTO/CRAIG SCHREINER)

Chancellor Dwight Watson announced fiscal improvements that mean no new layoffs in 2021 for UW-Whitewater at the Feb. 11 virtual Chancellor Chat. Earlier reports estimated that the university would need to layoff 72 positions.

Watson delivered the good news, highlighting successful savings and increased enrollment projections after months of work to decrease the budget deficit. The administration expects that there will be no additional non-renewals for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. Federal funds will also allow the university to extend its budget road map from two to three years. 

“In fiscal year ’21 we are actually in a positive position compared to the deficit that we projected,” said Interim Vice Chancellor of Administrative Affairs Taryn Carothers. 

With the one-time federal funds, the university is able to get to a zero balance for fiscal year 2022. This resulted in no additional budget related non-renewals or layoffs. 

“Our budget roadmap was just what it was- it was a journey, not necessarily a destination,” said Watson.

Enrollment is crucial to the financial success of the university. By extending the plan an additional year it allows more time for recruitment efforts to be figured out until fiscal year 2023 and 2024. 

Jeremy Smith, Assistant Director of Admissions, discussed efforts to increase the number of enrolled students. The university has given daily campus tours for 1,300 students since July, and also offered hundreds of virtual campus tours. Personalizing the recruitment process was emphasized as a crucial component. This included individual calls, text messages and postcards. 

The faculty made 900 phone calls in the fall to welcome new students and answer questions they might have about the university. An additional 3,000 phone calls were committed for the spring semester. 

“It takes a village to raise a child, and the same principle applies to enrolling students,” said Smith. 

Applications were submitted at no cost in the fall and are still being offered. The admissions team is also working on an informational video to further expand these efforts. 

“This is the type of connectivity, solidarity and community that UW-Whitewater is all about: Working together for a common good,” said Watson.

For more details on the budget roadmap visit https://uww.edu/budget. 

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