MADISON, WI - In an event that contradicts past actions, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents approved a budget Thursday that gives UW-Madison a smaller share of increased state funding for higher education and distributes more money to other UW System schools such as those in Milwaukee and Whitewater.
Past UW System budgets distributed state funding to campuses based mainly on each campus’ enrollment. This formula would have given UW-Madison $9.4 million in new funding. The new UW System budget instead gives the flagship university just $2.9 million, spreading the remaining $6.5 among other system schools.
The decision to slash UW-Madison’s funding has come with concern and criticism from community organizations, as well as school officials. UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said she was concerned with new allocation of money, as UW-Madison will receive approximately $13 million less over the biennium with the recalcalculated budget distribution.
“I recognize that like UW–Madison, all UW System campuses continue to face financial challenges as we head into the new biennium,” Blank said in a news release. “But a redirection of this size is concerning and will make it more difficult for UW–Madison to make the kinds of investments needed to maintain its excellence.”
UW-Madison advocacy groups made up of alumni and donors also took issue with the new budget calculations. Badger Advocates, a group who is not affiliated with UW-Madison but lobbies for the university, said the new budget is bad for the university and can erode the university’s position as the UW System’s flagship institution, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The System’s new 2017-18 operating budget will increase some student fees and housing costs at campuses across the state and could decrease overall spending by nearly $10 million.
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