Members of the Budget Task Force addressed an audience of students and faculty for a third time to relay the plans of the committee to deal with the new budget cuts.
Johannes Britz is the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. He said the task force’s method so far is to find a strategic solution to a problem that hardly permits the use of strategy.
“We have to do whatever we can to protect the quality of our programs,” Britz said.
The current plan for the task force is to generate cash on campus which will give the group more time to plan for and absorb the cut. A few further options include tuition increases for graduate and out-of-state students, furloughs for faculty, among other alternatives. The provost emphasized how no final decision has yet been made on where this cash would be coming from.
Laura Glawe from the Budget Communication Task Force discussed the various initiatives being taken to make people more aware of the damage that this budget cut can do. One of these strategies is a letter-writing party, during which students and faculty can write personal letters to Wisconsin legislators about how the cut will impact them.
“That is what legislators are really wanting to hear, is a very deep commitment coming from individuals,” she said.
The total operating budget for UWM is about $545 million for one year, with about 18% of that money provided by the state.
Classified Staff Advisory Council Chair Stan Yasaitis attended the Joint Finance Committee hearing earlier that morning and was disappointed with the university representatives.
“There was no connection made to the ever-decreasing state contribution to running this institution,” he said. “In a time when a lot of states are re-investing in their state university system, Wisconsin is cutting again.”