UW-Milwaukee is facing a great challenge, and you can help. The proposed state budget would result in a $300 million reduction in state aid to the University of Wisconsin System. For UWM, the proposed budget could mean over a $40 million reduction in state funding over the next 2 years. This is the biggest cut in our history and a cut of this magnitude would present unprecedented challenges to UWM.

Panther Advocates are encouraged to contact the Governor, their legislators and members of the Joint Finance Committee to show support for UWM.

Ways to Get Involved

When policies affecting UWM come before the state Legislature, you can communicate, inform, and encourage your elected officials, friends and community members on your personal time. 

  1. Contact your elected officials. Elected officials are receptive to opinions expressed by their friends, neighbors and constituents.  You may contact your legislators either by phone, email, letter or in-person.  Learn who your state legislators are and gather their contact information at
  1. Write a letter to the editor. Typically letters to the editor should be kept to fewer than 200 words and should contain your name, address and phone number.
  1. Share facts and information on social media with your friends, neighbors and family members, informing them about the impact of UWM.

Sample message to elected officials

Subject: Reduce the $300 million cut in state funding to the UW System

Dear [Decision Maker]:

My name is [insert name] and I live in [insert city, village or town].

[Choose one or more of the following]

I am a UWM faculty/staff member and I see UWM’s great work every day ___.

I am a UWM alumni and my degree in ___ helped me get a job doing ___.

My student goes to UWM and it has had a positive impact on them because ____.

I am a UWM student and UWM benefits me because ___.

I am a business leader who relies on UWM for ____.

UWM has a positive impact on me as a community member because ___.

UWM’s work with my community organization is invaluable because ___.

Please reduce the $300 million cut to the UW System from the 2015-17 budget.

Thank you for your attention to this critical issue. Let me know your views and how you will vote.


[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[Your City, State, Zip]

Talking Points to Use

Economic Impact and Research

The anticipated $40 million cut to UWM is too large to continue the $1.5 billion economic impact, including 15,000 jobs created, that UWM has on Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin.

UWM is the only 4-year public urban research university in the state, and the proposed budget cuts would cause exponential harm to the economic engine of southeastern Wisconsin.

UWM’s research and economic development strengths align with the Milwaukee 7 clusters including freshwater, heath care delivery, energy systems, advanced manufacturing and biomedical technologies.

Filling the Talent Pipeline

74% of UWM graduates remain in Wisconsin, providing the economy with needed talent.

By 2030, more than half (51%) of all new and replacement jobs are projected to require at least an associate degree, with 41% requiring a bachelor degree or more. Currently, about one-third (36%) of working-age adults in Wisconsin have at least an associate degree and 25% have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

College graduates ages 25 to 32 who are working full time earn more annually—about $17,500 more—than employed young adults holding only a high school diploma.

Student Success

90% of UWM students are from Wisconsin.

More veterans attend UWM than any other four-year school in a six-state region in the Midwest.

Community Engagement

UWM was recently named among the nation’s top universities for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

UWM students volunteer 43,000 hours per year at over 125 organizations.

UWM’s College of Nursing educates and produces more nurses than any other school in the state and impacts the community by having over 180 locations in the county in which our nursing students and faculty care for patients and their families.

UWM’s School of Education student teachers and their supervisors can be found in 173 different elementary, middle, and high schools across the public and private (charter and voucher) landscape. In all, 982 individual UWM students are placed within 27 districts.

UWM’s Peck School of the Arts students and faculty each year produce or host over 300 live theatre, music, dance, and other performance events on campus and in the community.

Lean Budget

UWM is already a lean institution for student spending, instruction, research, service staff and administrators based on the 28,000+ students enrolled.

UWM has less than $1 million in uncommitted cash reserves because of commitments already made to important research initiatives like the Zilber School of Public Health, School or Freshwater Sciences, Innovation Campus Accelerator and Global Water Center.