Dairy Innovation Hub one step closer to final approvals

The plan to spend $8.8M designated for dairy research at UW­–Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls included in the state budget was approved by the Board of Regents at a special meeting on August 1, 2019. The spending proposal, written by the deans and faculty and staff at the three campuses, requires approval of the Board of Regents before it goes before the Joint Finance Committee for final review.

The funds were allocated as a Joint Finance Committee supplemental appropriation in the state budget, rather than as a base-budget allocation. This type of allocation requires UW System, as the state agency responsible for all of the campuses, to submit a proposal for how funds will be spent to be reviewed and approved by the Joint Finance Committee at a special hearing in the fall.

The spending proposal reflects the funding splits outlined in the original Senate legislation: 52% to the University of Wisconsin­–Madison, 24% to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and 24% to the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. The proposal calls for creation of an advisory committee comprised of faculty from all three campuses, industry representatives, and a representative from the state to advise the deans on priorities for investments, review progress made by the Hub, and assist a faculty director in preparing annual reports.

The Joint Finance Committee hearing is expected to be scheduled in the fall.