UW System officials express concerns over upcoming budget

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) – Chancellors within the UW System are expressing concerns over the upcoming budget.

They’re asking state legislators for more money after years of seeing cuts.

Having dealt with a tighter budget—UW Oshkosh has seen its share of cuts over the past couple of years– from the elimination of athletic teams, to larger class sizes stemming from job losses.

The issue is one that could get worse, according to UW officials.

UW Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said, “We’ve been cut in five of the last six budgets. That’s 10 out of the last 12 years. It’s showing up across the system in reductions, in quality, in a number of ways for our students, and we’re here to talk about the importance of investing in the University of Wisconsin.”

UW Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank hosted an event discussing the issue at U-W Oshkosh with community leaders.

As a whole, the system is requesting $42 million of additional funding.

“We’re asking for some additional flexibilities, and you know we’re asking for a pay plan as well, so that our employees can get a raise for the first time in many years,” said, UW Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

Right now— UW officials are hoping to raise awareness by holding events like this.

Blank added, “In the last budget, it’s not just that we did not get money for new or renovated buildings. We got no maintenance money. So, when a steam pipe breaks under my university, I have to take educational funds. It’s never happened that the state has not give us maintenance money for our institutions.”

The Governor will submit a budget in January.

Lawmakers will debate it and make changes before eventually approving it in June.