Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,
Yesterday Governor Scott Walker announced his plan for the UW System’s 2017-19 biennial budget. The proposal contains approximately $100M in funding, which includes:
- $11.6M for a 2% pay plan for each year of the biennium;
- Restoration of a $50M lapse from 2015-17; and
- $42.5M tied to performance metrics.
The proposal also includes a 5% reduction in 2018-19 tuition to be funded by the state; provisions for students to opt out of paying certain segregated fees; initiatives related to growing flex degrees, internships, and programs for students to complete college credit in high school, and for the Board of Regents to establish a workload policy. Separately, the Group Insurance Board recommended yesterday to self-insure state employees, projecting a $60M savings. In the Governor’s address, he noted that such savings would benefit the UWS and K-12 education.
The Governor’s budget proposal is available here. The Legislature now begins its review of the proposal, with public hearings conducted by the Joint Finance Committee and, eventually, a full debate in both the State Assembly and State Senate this spring.
The coming weeks and months will provide opportunities to learn details about how the various components of the plan will affect UWM. It is likely there will be changes to this proposal as it progresses through the legislative process. At this point, I am pleased with Governor Walker’s plan for additional funding, including the compensation plan. This direction is consistent with what we have been requesting and what will benefit our students, faculty and staff and the state of Wisconsin.
Our State Budget Information web site will continue to be a resource for information and I encourage you to check it regularly for the latest news and updates. As you engage in the budget process, please remember to use personal resources including non-work time, noting the UW System rules regarding engaging in political activity.
Now that the biennial budget process is underway, our recent efforts related to the Chancellor’s Strategic Opportunities Work Group (CSOWG) are more important than ever. Developing a focused articulation of UWM’s future directions will strengthen our advocacy for additional funding. I encourage you to visit the CSOWG web site, review the draft document, and provide feedback by February 21.
I look forward to working with you, the UWS, Regents, legislators, alumni, and the community to build support for UWM. We are strongly tied to the economic and overall success of our region and Wisconsin. With a favorable budget outcome, UWM will be poised to continue our critical efforts in research excellence, student success, and community engagement. Thank you for all that you do to advance UWM, and I will provide more updates as developments occur.
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee