JFC Testimony: Evan Braun

This testimony can be watched at WisconsinEye:
beginning at 00:56:30

Evan Braun
Vice-President, UWM Student Association

I am currently a junior in the Music Performance program.

I stand here today with multiple UW System student representatives, the official voice of students, to talk about UW System’s impact on the state and the importance of investing in our UW System.

First, some numbers:

The proposed $300 in cuts to the system over two years translates to about $40 million in cuts to UWM.To put those numbers into perspective, $40 million at UWM equates to the operating budget of UWM’s College of Letters and Science, a college that holds one-third of the UWM student population.

Unfortunately, making professors teach an extra class as Governor Walker has suggested will not be nearly enough to survive this cut. You can expect layoffs, a loss in programs, a major drop in enrollment.

The quality of education within the UW System will diminish when a crippling cut is coupled with a tuition freeze. I have no doubt after the two years of the tuition freeze, UW System will see major hikes in tuition due to the public authority model, resulting in the cost of education going up, and making access to higher education nearly impossible for individuals of lower economic standing.

UW System is one of the greatest economic drivers in the state, creating and annual $1.5 billion impact.

I also ask you to consider the impacts on Wisconsin’s workforce. The division of occupational employment predicts that jobs requiring a Master’s degree going up in the next 10 years. Georgetown Center on Education predicts that of the 46.8 million job openings in 2018, 63% will require a college degree or higher.

I ask that you please see the value the UWM System has brought to the state.Wisconsin cannot be a leader in the nation [with out it]. We need to invest in the people of Wisconsin.