PROFS has a strong record of advocating for the best possible pay plans for University of Wisconsin-Madison faculty and staff and our work during 2021-23 budget process is no different. The Joint Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on a pay plan for state employees, including those at UW-Madison Thursday. This is the letter we shared with committee members earlier today.
PROFS, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and ASPRO hosted a campus forum on the state budget on Friday, May 7. The forum featured State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point), State Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and Jason Stein, research director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Professor Susan Yackee of the La Follette School moderated the discussion.
PROFS will host a virtual forum to discuss the 2021-23 state budget at noon, Friday, May 7. This event is open to the public, but registration is required (below).
- State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-West Point), member Joint Finance Committee
- State Senator Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield), member Joint Finance Committee
- Jason Stein, Research Director at the Wisconsin Policy Forum
Professor Susan Yackee, Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, will moderate.
Governor Tony Evers introduced a strong higher education budget, exceeding the UW System request by almost $100 million, but Republican leaders have said they plan to create their own budget in the Joint Finance Committee.
Evers’ proposal included the following:
- $190 million in new funding for UW System, including more than $50 million to fully fund the continuing freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition.
- $40 million over two years in unrestricted funding to address student needs and budget losses due to COVID-19.
- Borrowing authority that will give UW System the ability borrow funds for short-term academic and athletic expenses, long-sought budget tool that UW-Madison peers already have.
- Expansion of Bucky’s Tuition Promise to all UW System institutions, along with significant increases in other financial aid programs.
- $2 million for 15 additional county-based UW-Extension positions and 5 climate science research positions.
The governor also introduced a $2.4 billion capital budget, which includes almost $1 billion for UW System, but his proposal was deadlocked in the State Building Commission, leaving the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee to determine the capital budget.
UW-Madison has four major projects in Evers’ proposal:
- $88 million for a new College of Letters and Science building to replace the aging Mosse Humanities Building.
- $150 million for the first phase of a new College of Engineering building to replace the 82-year-old Computer Aided Engineering Center.
- $26 million for the restoration of the 140-year-old Music Hall.
- $73 million for underground utility work on the Engineering campus, an area prone to damaging floods
The Academic Staff Professionals Representation Organization (ASPRO) and the La Follette School of Public Affairs are cosponsors.
Forum Registration A Zoom link will be emailed to you the week of the event.
Earlier this week, Governor Tony Evers announced his nearly $2.4 billion 2021-23 capital budget proposal. His plan includes about $1 billion for UW System, including four major projects at UW-Madison:
- A new College of Letters and Science building to replace the aging Mosse Humanities Building, $88 million
- The first phase of a new College of Engineering building to replace the 82-year-old Computer Aided Engineering Center, $150 million
- Restoration of the 140-year-old Music Hall on Bascom Hill, $26 million
- Underground utility work on the Engineering campus, an area prone to damaging floods, $73 million
WKOW-TV has more on the UW-Madison portion of the capital budget proposal:
This legislative update will be shared with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Faculty Senate today. The senate meets the first Monday of every month at 3:30 pm during the academic year, October through May, except in January. Guests are welcome to observe the livestreamed meetings and can find the link here.
Regents begin at 8:45 am with committee meetings:
- The Business and Finance Committee will consider approval of several contracts and agreements and hear reports on shared services, information security, and state and federal COVID-19 assistance.
- The Education Committee will consider several new programs, including three at UW-Madison — a Master of Science in Financial Economics, a Master of Science in Information and an Educational Specialist in School Psychology. The committee will also vote on the temporary suspension of the SAT/ACT requirement at UW-Madison
- The Audit Committee will hear the FY21 Audit Plan Progress Report along with summarized recent audits.
- The Capital Planning and Budget Committee will consider a renovation project at UW-Stout and hear reports on capital projects and action by the State Building Commission.
- The Research, Economic Development, and Innovation Committee will hear a report on supporting Wisconsin businesses during the pandemic from Interim President Tommy Thompson and receive updates on the economic impact of COVID-19 in northern Wisconsin and the UW-Green Bay water sciences program.
The full board meets at 12:45 pm. After hearing reports from Regent President Andrew Petersen and Interim President Tommy Thompson, the board will consider the 2021-23 operating budget and capital budget requests. Interim President Thompson announced details about the request Tuesday.
The operating budget proposal — a 3.5 percent increase over the biennium — features ten key initiatives. The cornerstone of the plan is a systemwide free tuition program, the Wisconsin Tuition Promise, for Wisconsin families earning less than $60,000 annually. The proposal extends Bucky’s Tuition Promise, a UW-Madison program created in 2018, to all UW System universities.
Other funding priorities include student loan forgiveness programs for state teachers, 20 new UW-Madison Division of Extension county-based agriculture positions, and support for the Freshwater Collaborative.