Monday, January 29, 2007

Chancellor Wells on the Good Budget News

Chancellor Wells sent out this message, expressing his happiness with the news stories this weekend. He adds a few details of specifics for our campus--perhaps an increase of 350 students in "high demand" majors. And, even better, no overall cut in support levels!

To: UW Oshkosh Community
From: Richard H. Wells, Chancellor
Date: January 29, 2007

Re: Governor's Budget Proposal

I have good news for you today regarding the growth agenda. In news accounts that appeared yesterday, Governor Doyle announced that his budget will provide $225 million of additional funding over the next two years for Higher Education and financial aid. The vast majority of that additional funding will be for the University of Wisconsin institutions. The additional funding will provide a significant portion of the money requested for the Wisconsin growth agenda that includes institutional initiatives to increase the number of baccalaureate degrees, workforce development, teacher training, nursing, and increased student enrollment. This represents a very positive step in the State budget process.

We in northeastern Wisconsin greatly appreciate the fact that Governor Doyle has listened to business and community leaders about the need to fund the Wisconsin growth agenda. President Reilly and the Board of Regents under the leadership of David Walsh are also to be commended for working with the Governor to highlight the need to reinvest in the UW institutions. I am also pleased to report positive initial reaction to the need for the growth agenda that I obtained in earlier conversations with members of our local and regional legislative delegation, including Senator Carol Roessler and Representative Gordon Hintz. I am quite optimistic that this part of the Governor’s budget can become a bi-partisan priority for the citizens of Wisconsin.

We at UW Oshkosh and other campuses across the System need to continue to seek the support of the broader public including community and business leaders, as well as legislators, in order to see this funding through the legislative process. Governor Doyle will provide more details of his proposal during his State of the State speech tomorrow and on February 13 during his State Budget address.

What we know so far is that there will be full funding for cost-to-continue dollars for the UW System and all UW campuses. In other words, there will be no cut in State budget support. As mentioned above, it also means substantial funding for the campus growth agendas and student financial aid. For UW Oshkosh, depending on the level of state support, this means funding additional faculty to support the growth of about 350 students over the next two years in existing high demand programs and new programs.

As a reminder, the existing funding of our growth agenda is less than what we proposed in March of last year (see my memo of March 29, 2006, and the related power point, but should be a substantial portion of the 62% of the March total that was approved by the Board of Regents in August (see August 2006 press release in the UW Oshkosh University Relations news archives

I will continue to supply you with more information as it becomes available. Again, while the budget process is not complete, we are off to a good start, and there is considerable hope that support of the northeastern Wisconsin growth agenda and financial aid is forthcoming.

Cc: Governor Jim Doyle
Senator Carol Roessler
Representative Gordon Hintz
Board of Regents
UWS Administration
Foundation Board
Oshkosh Council of Advisors
Milwaukee Council of Advisors
New North Board
Regional Media Leaders


Frank J Doster said...

Great news, maybe this cheap &^% university can get a membership to the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Anonymous said...

I am trying to remember the last time Wells said anything that mattered. Talk about a lame duck...

Who cares what he says about the Governor's budget or anyone else's budget.