Chancellor’s Update: Joint Finance Committee Action on UW System Budget

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

The State of Wisconsin Joint Finance Committee (JFC) has taken action on the UW System’s (UWS) 2017-19 biennial budget. The proposal includes restoration of the $50M lapse from 2015-17. In addition, there is $36M in new funding, including $28.8M in ongoing base funds in 2018-19 of which $26.5M is tied to performance metrics. Institutions will be measured compared to peer institutions with similar missions. The performance funding includes $5M to increase high-demand degree programs and will be distributed to institutions through a competitive process.

The proposal also includes:

  • Approval of a $6M increase in financial aid for students;
  • Continuation of the tuition freeze for in-state undergraduate students for a fifth and sixth year through the 2017-19 biennium;
  • An (unfunded) expansion of the veterans tuition remissions program;
  • A requirement for the UWS Board of Regents (BOR) to ensure that student segregated fees are classified consistently among UW institutions; and
  • A prohibition of any BOR policy requiring that candidates for the positions of President, Chancellor or Vice Chancellor have faculty status.

Provisions related to procurement and leasing flexibilities, faculty workload requirements, mandatory student internships, and an increased number of three-year degree requirements have been removed from consideration in the budget bill.

Funding for compensation will be considered by the JFC later in the budget process; however, the JFC took action to support the proposed pay plan by reallocating the $35 million previously set aside to fund a tuition cut and committing to hold it for salary increases for our employees.

Many steps remain in the budget process. The JFC will complete deliberations on other portions of the state budget, followed by vetting and voting of the amended budget by the full Legislature this month. The Assembly and Senate must pass identical versions of the budget bill. The Governor then signs or vetoes the amended budget.  Once the budget is finalized, UWS will determine 2017-18 fund allocations to the campuses.

At this point, I am pleased with the JFC’s support for additional funding, which will benefit our students, faculty and the state of Wisconsin.  We will continue to advocate for UWM, including the compensation plan and our capital budget, both of which will be considered later by the JFC.

UWM hosts the UW System BOR meeting on June 8 and 9 which provides another opportunity to showcase our critical role in Wisconsin. Drawing upon your accomplishments and success, I will advocate for investment in UWM. I encourage you to attend my June 8 presentation and other BOR sessions; see the schedule here.

Please continue to regularly check our State Budget Information web site for the latest news and resources, and I will continue to provide budget updates as developments occur.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee