Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Republican Budget - UW Cuts!

It's already late, so I'll start with UW-System changes:

1. Cut $96 million of GPR funding from UW-System.
2. $8 million less for Public Radio and Television at UW-Extension
3. Delete increases to Lawton retention grants and Advanced Opportunity Grants, around $5.5 million less than JFC
4. Cap tuition and nonallocable fees increases at 4 percent, per year until 2011. My favorite part about this provision is the stipulation regarding Segregated Fees: they can only be raised past 4 percent if the student body holds a referendum stating what the increase is for, how much it will cost and - my personal favorite - if more than 10 percent of the student body votes for it.

As much as I love the idea of the student body actually having to come out and vote for something, I think 10 percent is a little low. We should be able to get that number a little higher, especially if we ever figure out how to fix our online voting system that failed us twice. A paper trail would be nice, but come on, it's a university-wide vote. The paper ballot was not promising.

7. Cut Faculty Retention program from $10 to $6 million
8. Eliminate Certain Administrative Positions - $6.3 million reduction - Alright, fair enough. But...
9. Reduce funding for UW Law School by $4 million?

It goes on like this! So many cuts with so little wiggle room. You cut aid, you cut programs and you cut funding for faculty retention. Since you also put a cap on tuition increases, there is only so much the UW System can do to make up these losses. Through a budget like this, you assure that the UW system slouches into last place and becomes the laughing stock of the nation. The Wisconsin Idea doesn't work if you don't fund it.

I would go into this more now, but I need sleep. We'll discuss this tomorrow on the radio show.


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