Friday, April 17, 2015

The hits keep coming to the UW System

Add two more schools to the list of UW System institutions that are taking steps to cut staff because of Gov Walker's proposed budget cut of $300 million to the System. This includes the flagship institution at Madison, where Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced that up to 400 positions would be eliminated to close the gap. The announcement comes a week after the UW Board of Regents allowed for higher out-of-state to help defray some of that deficit, but Chancellor Blank notes that it is nowhere near enough, and with the next school year coming up with the state budget still up in the air, UW-Madison officials had to act.
Even while we continue to advocate for a smaller cut, we must now put our initial plans into action for Fiscal Year 2015-16, which begins on July 1. Our $36 million plan includes $21 million in budget cuts and redirects an additional $15 million from other campus units to our overall educational mission. This plan includes the elimination of approximately 400 positions.

It begins to bridge, but does not fill, a structural deficit that may be as much as $96 million as a result of state budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year. The nonresident undergraduate tuition increases approved by the Board of Regents on April 10 will provide another $17.5 million in new revenue. There will remain, however, a significant deficit.

The reductions have been planned and will be carried out by our deans and directors, who know best which programs can be cut while minimizing the impact on the student experience and our core educational mission. Starting today, campus leaders are sharing information about their plans for budget cuts in their units.
Blank mentioned that UW-Madison might also merge or restructure some programs, since it will lack the staff to offer a sufficient curriculum in some areas.

Later in the afternoon, another UW campus joined a list of 5 others offering buyouts to its older employees. This time it's UW-Platteville having to make the move, offering early retirement for as many as 226 of its employees to deal with a $5 million cut in this budget, and another $5 million cut resulting from previous cuts and underfunding. In order to qualify, a Platteville employee must
be, as of June 30, 2015, currently appointed as faculty, academic staff, permanent classified staff, project staff, or limited term employee staff;
• be age 55 years or older as of June 30, 2015;
• be vested with the Wisconsin Retirement System and eligible to receive an annuity under WRS;
• have a start date at UW-Platteville on or before June 30, 2010
And what is even more infuriating about this situation is that it was entirely caused by dumb policies from Gov Walker and the Wisconsin GOP-run Legislature. Previous tax cuts have led to shortfalls in revenue, lessening the money available, and this Governor and his TeaBagging minions in the Legislature have chosen not to make up the difference by reversing or even stopping the expansion of any of these tax cuts. Instead, Walker chose to cut the UW System and K-12 schools as a means to make up the difference in this budget over other areas to reduce, such as the slush fund known as WEDC, or coming up with innovative ways to reduce the spending in Corrections.

Instead of all of the "Go Bucky" tweets the last month, why didn't these "Open for Business" legislators fund the great resource that is one of the few separators this state has over others, and remove all of the uncertainty that have led to these job and class cuts. As a result of their foolish choices, Wisconsin is now losing jobs and reducing our competitiveness in developing human capital. So tell me again how that mentality is supposed to attract business and make Wisconsin a better place to live in?

1 comment:

  1. River Falls is laying off staff. No buyouts, just layoffs.