The University Committee at UW-Milwaukee met Wednesday to discuss Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts from the UW System.
Among the points made, there was an overall sense of concern that the UW Board of Regents was bypassing speaking to lower school governments like the University Committee.
Committee member, Margot Anderson, repeatedly called the actions taken by Scott Walker and other university administrators “paternalistic governance” not “shared governance.” Margot backed up her claims by citing a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article that claims UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank and other top UW officials had tried to appeal to Scott Walker and his donors to mitigate the effects of a potential budget cut on the UW System. Anderson called the moves “backroom deals.”
Lane Hall, another member of the committee, called the planning and execution of the budget cuts a “comedic farce.” Lane said he believes Walker is playing a predictable game of politics, in which Scott Walker will eventually scale the cuts down $150 or $200 million dollars and then effectively say, “look, we compromised. What else do you want?”
The committee was also nervous that Walker would also play with the language of the budget cuts for an extended amount of time until it is it set into concrete, leaving UWM administrators only three or four weeks to react before the cuts take effect.
UWM Chancellor, Mark Mone, is taking steps to address the issue in a variety of venues.
The chancellor appeared on Wisconsin Public Television’s Here and Now program last Friday to express concern he had for the cuts.
In the broadcast he argued that UWM is already has one of the leanest budgets of any research university in the country. Mone said he hoped to appeal to the UW Board of Regents for an extra $95 million dollars in funding; an appeal that now appears to have a dismal future.
“These cuts will be painful in ways we have never seen before,” said the chancellor.
Aside from media appeal Tom Luljak, Vice Chancellor of Communications, reported Mone will be visiting the capital to appeal directly in ‘face-to-face’ interactions to at least 35 legislators on Feb. 4.
Luljak also reported that Mone will be making efforts at the next Board of Regents meeting to rally other UW school administrators to also make an attempt to appeal to legislators.