Chancellor’s Update: Budget and Restructuring News

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

As we near the end of the academic year, I want to update you on the latest budget developments.


The 2017-19 state budget includes a proposed pay plan of 4.04% to be phased in over two separate dates, on July 1, 2018 and January 1, 2019. The plan, which required a merit-based component, has been approved by the Joint Committee on Employment Relations (JCOER) and awaits final review by the Board of Regents (BOR) in June. The 4.04% is an aggregate total for UWM; salary increases for individual employees will vary based on merit. UWM will fund about a third of the pay plan cost while the state compensation fund provides the remainder.

UWM is allocating up to $1.5M in base funds for faculty salaries via a new Chancellor’s Faculty Compensation Fund to help schools and colleges address faculty salary compression and to retain faculty who contribute to strategic priorities. This amount is equivalent to about 2.3% of all faculty salaries and will supplement the proposed state budget pay plan increases. Click here for details on how schools and colleges will administer these funds.

We also are dedicating an additional $375,000 for Teaching Assistant and Program Assistant salaries to support our strategic initiative for research excellence. This funding adds to a 1% increase in 2014-15 and an additional $692,000 in base funds allocated in 2016-17. These base salary increases help UWM attract and retain excellent graduate students.

Performance Based Funding

The 2017-19 state budget provides $26.25M to UW System (UWS) in base funds tied to performance metrics. As specified by the legislature, areas to be measured include retention and graduation rates, the number of STEM and health field graduates, research and public service expenditures and quality of students’ educational experience.

In April the legislature approved UWS’ proposal that each institution be assessed on its own improvement versus being compared to a peer or other UW campuses.In fall, UWM will receive a yet unknown amount of additional base funds.

2019-21 Capital Budget

UWS has started planning for the upcoming biennial budget cycle (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2021). The BOR will review UWS’ budget proposal in August and, pending approval, will forward it to the Governor’s office for consideration in the 19-21 budget cycle that will gear up around February of 2019. The planning is in preliminary stages but components being considered for the UWS request include: student financial assistance, a compensation plan, a modest tuition increase, performance-based funding initiatives, base funds for “Capacity Building Initiatives” that align with the state and UWS’ strategic directions, bonding and leasing authority for program revenue capital projects, and capital projects.

Future budget requests need to align with legislative direction, UWS’ strategic plan “2020 FWD” and UWM’s own strategic priorities on research, student success and engagement. Accordingly, we are requesting Capacity Building Initiative funding in areas focusing on diversity, nursing, STEM, student advising, technology and water. In addition, we are holding meetings with Regents to advocate for our capital planning priorities: a new Chemistry Building, $40M for infrastructure repairs to the Student Union and an annex to the Klotsche Center to improve student recreation and sports offerings. The Chemistry Building would be paid for by state taxpayers. The Union and Klotsche Annex projects are funded through segregated fees that are already being collected; neither project would result in future increases to student segregated fees.UWM’s requests are being reviewed by UWS and will be consolidated into a proposed UWS Capital Budget.

Budget Model

UWM is about to launch our new budget model, the method through which UWM allocates fiscal resources to schools, colleges and other units. UWM started planning for a new budget model in 2011, with goals for the model to be flexible, predictable, simple, inclusive and strategic, while simultaneously incentivizing desired activity such as research growth. With various teams including members of the Academic Planning and Budget Committee, faculty, campus leadership and budget and finance staff, efforts have been divided in four phases:

  • Requirements and Best Practices Data Gathering
  • Development and Approval of the Resource Allocation Framework
  • Testing the Proposed Model
  • Implementation of the New Model

To ensure people are informed about the new methodology and related processes, planning is ongoing for campus information sessions, meetings with governance groups, FAQs and more. For the latest news, please see the UWM Budget Model web page.

Integrated Support Services

Teams are close to a new milestone in the Integrated Support Services (ISS) project, an effort to design and implement an administrative structure for finance and accounting, procurement, human resources and information technology (IT) services.

The project is in a transition phase leading to the launch of its first prototype hub in June. The ISS hub will provide services to the School of Education, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Nursing, the Zilber School of Public Health, the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare and the Division of Finance and Administrative Affairs. Additionally, the College of Letters and Science and the Division of Student Affairs will receive IT services from the prototype hub. The project aims for long-term service efficiencies, increased effectiveness, improved use of technology, and enhanced professional development opportunities for the staff in these administrative areas. For more information on the planning for the hub, please click here.

UW Colleges Restructuring

Efforts continue to consolidate UW-Waukesha and UW-Washington County with UWM on July 1, 2018, pending Higher Learning Commission (HLC) accreditation approval. About 160 people from the three campuses are working on the operational details, including accreditation, academic programs, budget, enrollment, human resources, IT, marketing, student information systems, student services and more. Progress includes the submission of the change request from UWS to HLC, establishment of the UWM College of General Studies (CGS) as home for the two-year campus academic programs and the appointment of CGS Acting Dean Stephen Schmid. This month I am visiting the branch campuses again to meet students, faculty and staff. In addition, I have met with the respective communities’ business and municipal leaders. We have been holding listening sessions to gather questions and input on the process; the final session at UWM is on May 17; see here for details.

There are milestones to meet by July 1 but the efforts will continue into 2018-19 and beyond. This consolidation will result in more learning and engagement opportunities for students, and in turn, advancements for UWM and our region. For the latest updates, including new FAQs, please see the UWM and UW Colleges Restructuring web site.

I wish you well as you wrap up this spring semester. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to UWM and our students.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee