Regents to Discuss UW System Budget Proposal

uw system logoThe University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents is meeting at UW-Oshkosh today and tomorrow, August 21 and 22. Livestream coverage of the full board meeting is here.

Regents committees will meet Thursday morning, while the full board will meet Thursday afternoon and Friday.

The board will consider UW System’s state budget request Thursday afternoon. The proposal includes $95.2 million for the “Talent Development Initiative,” the implementation of new performance measures, and statutory language changes related to compensation, including the ability to offer merit pay increases.

The budget request notes that Governor Scott Walker directed state agencies, including UW System, to submit proposals that assumed no new funding, but UW System discussed its intention to request an budget increase with members of Governor Walker’s staff.

Budget request highlights:

  • $30 million for a competitive grant program targeting six areas critical to the state’s economy: agriculture, finance, insurance/real estate, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, and water research.
  • $27.3 to cover a pay plan funding gap. Historically, UW System funds about 30 percent of a pay plan increase with tuition dollars. The two-year tuition freeze has led to a funding gap, with many campuses holding insufficient reserves to cover the pay plan. 
  • $24.4 million to increase the number of college graduates statewide, with much of the funding directed to the Course Options program, a program that allows high school students to earn college credits. Additional funding would expand the Flex Option degree program, improve the credit transfer system, and assist working and first-generation college students.
  • $22.5 million in one-time funding to assist with the creation of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs. The money will be available to individual campuses through a competitive grant process.

UW System also plans to implement several accountability measures:

  • To meet or exceed the current goal of 80,000 undergraduate degrees conferred by 2025-26
  • To enroll at least 32 percent of Wisconsin high school graduates immediately after graduation
  • To meet or exceed the current plan to improve second-year return rate
  • To meet or exceed the current plan to improve the six-year graduation rate.


August 2014 UW System Board of Regents Budget Request