Chancellor’s Update on Board of Regents and Budget

April 8, 2015

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Tomorrow and Friday, the UW System Board of Regents meets at UW-Waukesha to discuss, among many items, the proposed 2015-17 Wisconsin Biennial Budget. Part of that discussion will include proposed tuition increases at various institutions throughout the UW System for non-resident students, graduate students, and some professional schools at nine UW campuses, starting next year.

At UWM, we are committed to our access mission and it is among my top priorities to keep tuition affordable. Absolutely none of the proposed increases impact our in-state undergraduate students.

What we are proposing is a 2.5% tuition increase for non-resident undergraduate and nonresident graduate students. Of the professional programs, we have proposed increases for two: a 3% increase for nonresident master’s students in the College of Health Sciences and a 5.5% increase for resident and nonresident master’s students in the Lubar School of Business. UWM’s proposed increases are market-based and moderate, considering the overall tuition freeze that has been imposed the past two years and that nonresident graduate tuition has remained unchanged over the last seven years. For detailed breakouts, please see pp. 137-147 of the Board of Regents Business and Finance Committee Agenda. The main Regents meeting will be live webcast on Thursday and Friday of this week.

Please be assured that we are doing all that we can to responsibly deal with the proposed $40 million cut to UWM over the next biennium. The Budget Task Force – comprised of students, faculty, staff, governance leaders, and administration – is hard at work identifying both short-term and long-term options to address what will be the largest cut in our history, should the proposed budget pass as presented. This is difficult and there are no easy decisions. Meanwhile, there are still many questions for which we do not yet have answers.

The Joint Finance Committee is continuing its deliberations and no decisions have been made with respect to the proposed budget. You have my continued commitment to transparency and I will share the work, plans and processes we create to address potential budgetary challenges.

At our next campus budget meeting on Monday, April 13 I will update you on the Board of Regents meeting and, together with the Budget Task Force, will share news on additional options to address the budget cut. I also encourage you to regularly visit the Budget Information Website as it is updated daily and has been redesigned to include a number of striking infographics.

I am most grateful to our students, faculty, staff, alumni and others for all of your ideas, advocacy and suggestions. I will continue to fight for a strong UWM, uphold the Wisconsin Idea, and preserve the quality and affordability of education for our students and their families.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone