, , , , , ,

More Funding For UW System Vital To Maintain Quality, UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Says

System Asking For $42.5M Increase In State Funding Over Next 2 Years

Wikimedia Commons

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt’s message to the state and its lawmakers is simple: “More state investment is needed to maintain the quality of the student experience,” Schmidt said.

The UW System is requesting a $42.5 million increase in state funding over the next two years. For UW-Eau Claire, that could work out to around $2 million towards an $80 million annual budget. Schmidt said that increase could stem the tide of faculty leaving or being cut from the four-year university.

“The cuts of the last two bienniums are really hitting home,” Schmidt said. “It’s hurting quality from the perspective that we’re losing great faculty and staff, and it’s my job to hold on to them.”

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

With the tuition freeze since 2012 and repeated cuts to state funding, UW-Eau Claire has lost 179 faculty and staff, leading to fewer class options for students, he said.

“If you’ve been freezing that for four years and you’ve been cutting the other piece for about 12 years, you have a comeuppance,” Schmidt said.

The UW System is also asking for authority to borrow $400 million for building maintenance. Schmidt said some of that would go towards overdue repairs on student dorms.

In a letter released in July, Gov. Scott Walker said he intends to extend the UW System’s freeze on in-state tuition another two years. In that same letter, Walker warned state agencies to submit budgets for the next two years that don’t spend more money than allotted in the 2015-17 budget cycle.