In addition to state legislative issues, PROFS also watches federal issues as they relate to the university. Right now, PROFS is talking with the Wisconsin congressional delegation about how a possible federal sequestration (the reduction of federal funding to reduce the deficit) could have devastating consequences for UW-Madison. The Budget Control Act of 2011 solved the debt-ceiling crisis in August 2011 but will force $1.2 trillion across-the-board budget cuts in January unless Congress acts before then.
Research funding would be hard hit. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) estimates that R & D funding could be cut by $57.5 billion over 5 years, a cut of 8.4 percent. Non-defense spending comprises $21.9 billion of the total. Cuts in 2013 are estimated to be $2.5 billion at the National Institutes of Health and $571 million at the National Science Foundation. These cuts have enormous implications for the country’s research institutions, including UW-Madison.
PROFS will continue to closely follow this issue and keep faculty informed as we get closer to the January deadline.