Michael Falbo, President of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, appeared on UpFront with Mike Gousha Sunday. Falbo discussed the controversy over UW System cash reserves and the upcoming departure of UW System President Kevin Reilly.
Echoing Reilly’s initial comments, Falbo said that Reilly’s impending exit was well-planned and not a direct result of legislative displeasure over growing financial reserves. Falbo said the reserves grew dramatically over the past three years and UW System could have done a much better job explaining them to the legislature. Republican leaders said last week the hiring of a new president presents and new chapter for UW System and could help build trust.
Falbo said the reputation of the University of Wisconsin System should attract candidates from around the world, and that “all the blinders are off” with regard to looking at potential candidates. He said UW System will need to work closely with the state on job creation and economic development efforts, and a private sector candidate is possible, citing the recent hiring of UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank as an example of a non-traditional hire.
According to Falbo, the University of Wisconsin System is not alone in facing a difficult legislative climate. Many states have cut higher education budgets, and universities must work to secure new sources of funding.