Office of the Chancellor

 

E-mail message to the Campus
July 3, 2002

REMARKS AND ESSAYS:
Budget fix yields no surprises


Dear Colleagues:
The Legislature’s Conference Committee completed its work Tuesday on the state budget repair bill. It will reduce the University of Wisconsin System budget by $44.2 million for 2001-03. The estimated impact at UW-Green Bay will be a budget reduction of $774,095 over the two-year period, including $530,500 in 2002-03.
      All budget cuts are painful, but these cuts are much less severe than some earlier proposals. This budget allows us to protect core programs and make sure the quality of a UW-Green Bay education is not jeopardized. We also will keep our commitment to access by maintaining current enrollment levels and avoiding huge tuition increases.
     :As you may recall, we went through budget planning for the coming year some months ago. That had to be as there were students to admit, courses to schedule, and positions to fill. We could not wait for the legislature to act. We used, as our target, an expectation of a biennial reduction of $750,000. Essentially, we now need only continue to implement the budget plans we made -- and shared with you -- some time ago. No new cuts are necessary.
      In those earlier plans, we protected UWGB's instructional capacity and, hence, the ability of our students to make timely progress toward their degrees. Not instructional positions were cut. We, as a university, took risks filling all open instructional positions even in the face of a System hiring freeze. I am particularly pleased that our decision to take such a gamble has paid off; had we not done so, we would now be scrambling at the last minute to fill positions critical to the continuing quality of our programs.
     We should also all be pleased that the Conference Committee, through its budget actions, demonstrated its faith and confidence in the UW System as a vital contributor to the state’s long-term economic health. The return on the state’s investment in higher education will come in the form of educated citizens and a highly skilled workforce.
      The Senate and Assembly still must approve the budget, and Gov. McCallum will exercise his veto authority. I ask for your continued patience as this lengthy budget process nears its conclusion.
      I cannot conclude without also noting, though, that budgets, for higher education, are a never-ending saga. The current budget shortfall has been partially addressed by the State by using one-time funds. Dealing with the more basic structural budget problem has been largely postponed. I am expecting that we will see significant new budget pressures as budgets are developed for the next biennium. We go into that "next round" in relatively good position, though: fiscally, in terms of our budget and strategically in terms of the recognition -- as evidenced by our treatment in Madison during the current budget decision making -- that the UW System is a part of a solution rather than part of a problem.
      As always, I will share with you additional budget developments and appreciate your feedback.

Have a great 4th!
Bruce

 

 

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Office of the Chancellor
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University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
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Green Bay, WI 54311-7001
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