Majority of UW-System administrators back Wisconsin Idea PartnershipAlmost every University of Wisconsin chancellor has signed on to a proposal that would give each campus more flexibility and would keep UW-Madison within the UW-System. The proposal was sent to state legislators Wednesday.
By: Maureen McCollum, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Almost every University of Wisconsin chancellor has signed on to a proposal that would give each campus more flexibility and would keep UW-Madison within the UW-System. The proposal was sent to state legislators Wednesday.
UW Colleges/Extension Chancellor Ray Cross and all four-year UW campus chancellors -- save for Madison -- have signed on to what's called the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
Currently, the UW System's state appropriated money is earmarked for specific purposes and cannot be reallocated. This proposal would change that. UW System spokesman David Giroux compares this to a family budgeting for groceries and gas in a given week.
Well we get our state funding in a way, if we do a good job saving money on our groceries; we’re not allowed to put gas in our car. And that just doesn’t make sense to a lot of people, it makes less sense now, given the really tight constraints we have on our campuses.”
The proposal would also loosen the UW Board of Regents’ authority to set tuition. UW- La Crosse chancellor Joe Gow says this would require less documentation and politics.
“It would be beneficial to have the ability to set our own tuition rate independently of the UW System,” says Gow. “We could work on that with our students, faculty, and staff here on campus, and get it right to make sure we have the resources we need at a time when state money is being cut.”
Through the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, the Regents would handle employment issues, instead of the Office of State Employment Relations. Some construction projects would not need as much state approval. And UW institutions would have more flexibility in keeping investment interest earnings.
Ultimately, the Wisconsin Idea Partnership needs approval from the state legislature.