Campus community invited to forums on UW and state budget

Chancellor Rebecca Blank invites the campus community to be part of a discussion about the proposed budget for the University of Wisconsin-Madison in a series of forums starting next week.

Gov. Scott Walker released his budget plan for the UW System this week, including a funding reduction of $300 million and formation of a public authority with greater autonomy from state government. UW–Madison’s share of the System cut is approximately $120 million over two years.

“As a state agency we are willing to do our part to solve the state’s fiscal shortfall, but $300 million is too much. A two-year cut of that magnitude would result in employee layoffs and cuts to programs around campus,” Blank says. “As the budget moves through the legislative process, I intend to keep our campus community and governance groups informed.”

Blank says the proposal to reform the UW System into a public authority has merits, but would not provide immediate budget relief.

“Flexibilities in purchasing, management of building projects and authority over a pay plan for university employees offered through a public authority model are welcome reforms that would eventually allow the System to function more effectively. But the public authority will take some time to create and implement and will provide no budget relief in the short term,” she says.

At the forums, Blank will provide an update on how the budget proposal would affect UW-Madison. There will also be ample time for Blank to take questions.

Additional forums delving more deeply into issues affecting undergraduate and graduate students will be held later in February.

The initial sessions will be held:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 11, 11 p.m.-12 a.m. (night session), Health Sciences Learning Center, Room 1306, 750 Highland Ave. Free parking for this session will be available at Lots 60, 74, 82, and 85.
  • Thursday, Feb. 12, 2:30-3:30 p.m., Varsity Hall, Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.
  • Friday, Feb. 13, 9-10 a.m., Ebling Auditorium, Microbial Sciences, 1550 Linden Dr.

All staff may attend without loss of pay. Interpretation services for Hmong, Mandarin, Spanish and Tibetan speakers will be provided at the Wednesday and Thursday forums. Individuals requesting sign language interpretation or captioning should contact Argyle Wade by Monday, Feb. 9, at 608-890-0341 or

The Thursday and Friday sessions will be live-streamed, and can be accessed here.

Information on this event and updates on the budget can also be found here.

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