May 20, 2015
Dear Faculty and Staff,
We just learned that the State of Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will likely deliberate the UW System budget in the middle to end of next week, May 26-28. Between now and then is our last chance to share key messages with JFC members about the proposed $300 million cut to the UW System:
- Reduce the cut; it is too large and coming too fast
- Support flexibilities that will help UWM and the UW System work more efficiently and effectively
- Create a dedicated funding structure for the UW System
- Preserve Chapter 36 and shared governance
Earlier this month it became clear that there would likely be no additional tax revenue to offset the proposed cut. There are opportunities right now for the JFC and the Legislature to consider reductions to the proposed UW System cut and to elevate the System in its funding priorities. It is imperative that we ask them to do so as they are making decisions critical to our future. Advocate for UWM today. Faculty and staff should not use university resources to contact legislators; please take care to use your personal e-mail.
The 2015-17 State budget, as amended by members of the JFC, goes to the full Legislature for a final vote, likely in early June. The Governor has veto power and the budget is not official until it is signed by Gov. Walker.
We are on a tight time frame to implement cuts of any size. The many campus members of the Budget Planning Task Force (BPTF) and the Budget Planning Communications Task Force (BPCTF) have been working diligently with all of our constituents. The BPTF will make recommendations to me about how we move forward with implementing the cuts. You have my continued promise for an inclusive, transparent process.
Please know that we will share the JFC budget actions as soon as we learn of them. We also will send weekly budget updates and are working on scheduling additional campus budget forums for this summer. Also, please refer to the State Budget Information website for the most up-to-date news and for archives of my campus budget updates.
Some have asked about the status of UWM’s strategic plan. I assure you that it is still in play, although on ‘pause’ at the moment, as we consider our strategic priorities in light of the pending approval of the biennial budget.
As a campus, we will remain committed to our 5 key areas – our strategic plan tenets of:
- Student success
- Strengthening engaged research
- Bolstering community and alumni engagement
- Improving our culture and climate
- Elevating the visibility of UWM and its impact
Once more, it is more critical now than ever to share your stories with state legislators about the transforming personal, societal and economic impact that UWM has – and will continue to have – as we, too, transform during this time of sea change in higher education.
Mark A. Mone