Joint Audit Committee Approves UW System Plan on Cash Balances

UW_Day_at_Capitol13_1390The legislature’s Joint Committee on Audit met yesterday and unanimously approved UW System’s plan for managing and disclosing cash balances and fund reserves. Campus financial reserves have been the subject of intense legislative scrutiny since April 2013 when the Legislative Fiscal Bureau reported UW System holds more than $650 million in reserve.

The legislature directed UW System to develop a plan as part of the 2013-15 biennial budget (Act 20), and the Legislative Audit Committee requested additional changes after a plan was presented to them on November 20, 2013. The Board of Regents approved those revisions earlier this month.

The revised plan requires individual campuses to hold between 10 and 15 percent of their total fiscal year expenditures in reserve. Campuses with less than 10 percent fund balances must report a savings plan to the regents, while campuses holding more than 15 percent fund balances must provide justification to the regents and submit a spending plan for tuition, auxiliary operations, general operations, and unrestricted program revenue.

Archived audio of the meeting is available