UW System asks for a more equitable approach to lapse

The UW System sent a memo to the Department of Administration last Wednesday asking for a more equitable and proportional approach to the $65.7 million lapse the system is expected to pay.

Telfer

As authorized in the 2011-2013 state budget, the D.O.A. has implemented a $174.3 million lapse, with the UW System having been asked to prepare for 38 percent of .

The lapse is in addition to the $250 million budget cuts from the UW System over the biennium.

Chancellor Richard Telfer said he was very surprised to hear that the UW System, which only makes up about seven percent of the state budget,  has to pay 38 percent of the lapse.

“We [the UW System] are being made to pay a much, much, much  larger portion of the lapse than the other state agencies,” Telfer said.

President of the UW System Kevin Reilly said they are doing everything possible to encourage a more proportionate lapse amount.

In the memo, Freda Harris of the UW System Budget and Planning Office, asked “for a fair and reasonable calculation that assigns a more equitable target for the UW system and our institutions.”

As the UW System acknowledges the state’s financial hardships, they suggest that the lapse be allocated proportionally to all state agencies, instead of the UW System having to cut 38 percent, or 65.7 million, of the lapse.

The memo detailed a respectful approach to the UW System calculations. They suggested the following critical areas be removed from the equation:

• The removal of high priority activities, such as research and public services.

• The removal of GPR-funded utilities. Support for utilities are already reduced in the 2011-2013 biennial budget and any further cuts could lead to “year-end shortfalls.”

• The removal of police/security and power plant staff. These personnel provide all-day coverage to the state institutions, which is consistent with other state agencies’ service providers.

• Lastly, the removal of financial aid. System asked for this part of the equation to be removed because “these dollars are vital to providing access to higher education for low and moderate income students.

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