February 23, 2016

The committee discussed the CCOET Report, met with the Chancellor, and continued our ongoing discussions of budget cuts and the changes that will entail. The UC is gathering responses to the CCOET report from faculty, will consolidate them, and prepare a short response of our own by February 29.  Faculty should send comments and concerns promptly so we can integrate these ideas into our thinking and make sure these documents get to the Chancellor for his consideration.  We’ve already received several spirited and informative reports on potential reorganizations, changes to the Graduate School, and position control.

The Chancellor brought us up to date on a major meeting with System officials on the short term and long term budget and planning situation for UWM.  We understand that there is general consensus and support from System for our access and research missions; that our “reserves” are dwindling fast under the pressure of enrollment declines, tuition freezes, and state budget cuts; that the statewide high school graduating class demographics will not turn up anytime soon; that we have considerable ongoing commitments to pay out from the rapid expansion of programs and building during the first decade of this century.  The Chancellor is being tasked with stabilizing all this, and providing guidance on where we are going.  He reported we are about half way to our budget cutting stabilization target with the draconian cuts we’ve already made, and with some luck, he hopes to be able to identify the rest in the next few weeks.  Longer term, we need to set targets for an enrollment base that will provide sufficient revenue to pay the bills, and define standards and priorities for any program changes, both to bring in new revenue and maintain quality.  A tough order.  Look for the fog to clear a bit before Spring Break.