Gov. Walker's Budget an Improvement for UWS
Posted at: 03/13/2013 5:24 PM
| Updated at: 03/13/2013 6:41 PM
By: Travis Dill
The State of the Campus update outlined that UWS employees could see their first raises in years.
Governor Scott Walker's proposed budget would send more money to the UW system than in recent years. He proposed $181 million in funding for the university.
That made the update easier to hear for faculty and staff that filled a lecture hall on Wednesday. In recent years the update has included bad news like cuts in state funding or need for employee concessions.
Chancellor Renee Wachter said the budget is a step in the right direction.
“After many, many years of decline not only across the nation, but particularly in the UW system this is a positive sign,” Wachter said.
The past cuts created tuition increases for students. University officials said students will still see tuition rise, but this budget could mean the smallest bump in years. Officials said a rough estimate showed an increase under 5.5 percent.
Wachter said the funding increase doesn't make up for all those cuts in the past.
“The truth is we're not recovered from the cuts that were made before, and while this is a positive sign it doesn't fully restore things so we're learning to be more efficient and do more with less,” Wachter said.
University employees haven't seen a raise in four years. The chancellor is pushing to give them a 2 percent increase, and she said the proposed budget could make that possible.
University officials said a recent study shows that UWS employees make 18 percent less than their peers.
The university will not finalize tuition and pay plans until late spring, but administrators said there is relief in this State of the Campus update.
A final state budget isn't likely until June. That is when the Wisconsin legislature typically sends it back to the governor.