Dear UWM Faculty and Staff,
I write with the latest news on the 2019-21 biennial operating budget.
JFC’s Proposed Budget
This week, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted 12-4 on the following terms for the UW System’s (UWS) 2019-21 biennial budget:
- Funding of $40.4M to cover 70% of the costs of a 2%/2% pay plan increase for UWS employees over the biennium, which means UWM would have to self-fund about $3.3M for the remaining 30%;
- A continuation for two additional years of the tuition freeze for undergraduate residents, without funding to cover the cost of the freeze; and
- Annual funding of $22.5M for capacity-building, which JFC would transfer after approving UWS’ plan for use of the funds.
From Governor Evers’ proposed budget, the JFC did not approve:
- $50.4M to cover the cost of lost tuition revenue and fund the full cost of the pay plan;
- A provision of $5M for student services at two-year campuses; and
- One-time funding of $10M in 2019-20 for financial aid for Ph.D. nursing students to encourage them to become nursing educators.
Next Steps and Your Role
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. The compensation plan proposal requires an additional approval from the Joint Committee on Employment Relations. 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 2019-21 fund allocations to campuses.
We will continue to advocate for our top priorities of full funding of the compensation plan, support for capacity-building initiatives and our capital budget (considered separately by the JFC). Our actions will include continued meetings with legislators and collaboration with community partners who are advocating on our behalf. In addition, on June 6-7, we host the UWS Board of Regents meeting which provides another opportunity to showcase UWM’s critical role in Wisconsin. Drawing upon your accomplishments and success, I will advocate for investment in UWM. I invite you to attend my June 6 presentation at 1 p.m. in the Wisconsin Room.
Thank you for your engagement in the state budget process on behalf of UWM. Your accomplishments and service are extraordinary and exhibit why UWM deserves investment to yield significant returns for our students, region, state and beyond.
Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee