I originally posted this in a comment, but then I remembered that it’s Wednesday and I’m (nominally) the Wednesday guest poster here, sooooo:
I got an email from the chancellor of UW-Madison yesterday, as I’m an employee of the university. You may remember that former chancellor Biddy Martin was the one advocating for greater autonomy from the state for the UW system, and UW-Madison in particular in the first place, and she actually left in no small part because it hadn’t gone through fast enough for her. Current chancellor Rebecca Blank, however, is less excited about all of this:
The $300 million cut is believed to be the largest in the history of the university. In the past, large cuts have always been mitigated by additional tuition revenue from both resident and nonresident students.
This proposed cut, on top of the reduction in the last state budget, would result in a more than 15 percent decrease in state funds to the university over a four-year period. Fully absorbing these cuts would harm our students and their educational experience.
I appreciate the opportunity for additional flexibility and management efficiencies that a public authority might bring, and would work hard to implement these effectively on our campus. It would be challenging, however, to engage in a major reorganization while also coping with a large budget cut.
And Scotty just imposed a two-year tuition freeze, too, because apparently we have a “sizeable surplus”…