Funding Higher Education Forum


How states, Wisconsin in particular, fund their institutions of higher learning will be the topic of a public forum next week. Chancellor Biddy Martin will be joined by Regent President Charles Pruitt and business leader Kathi Seifert.

Pruitt, a member of the UW System Board of Regents since 2003, is co-managing partner of the A.B. Data Group, a Milwaukee marketing and data processing company. Seifert, a former Kimberly-Clark executive, recently co-chaired the Regent’s Competitive University Workforce Commission.

The event will be held Wednesday, September 22 at 4:30 pm in the Wisconsin Idea Room at the newly-renovated School of Education, 1000 Bascom Mall. Refreshments will be served.

Public financing of higher education has changed dramatically over the past 50 years as funding priorities have shifted. Several states, including Michigan, Colorado and Virginia, have looked to new funding models to sustain their flagship universities. Last year, UW-Madison launched the Madison Initiative for Undergraduate Education as a way to improve access to high-demand courses and increase financial aid to the university’s neediest students.

“The funding of public higher education is a hot button issue across the country,” says Joe Salmons, president of PROFS. “Some systems are facing budget cuts of 20 to 30-percent. Other states have responded by offering greater flexibility to their flagships. We want to find out what faculty and the greater university community think.”

The forum, second in a series, is sponsored by PROFS, the Public Representation Organization of the Faculty Senate, and CAPE, the Coalition for Affordable Public Education.