University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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March 19, 2004


UW System Online Publication Outlines Effects of Budget Cuts

The effects of $250 million in state funding cuts are becoming apparent across University of Wisconsin System campuses, where many student living and learning environments are in need of significant improvement, a new UW System online publication shows.

The Spring 2004 edition of Wisconsin Ideas, a news publication for faculty, staff and stakeholders of the UW System, includes articles and photos that detail the effects of budget cuts at several UW System campuses. Due to budget cuts, the publication has been adapted to an online-only format, available at http://www.wisconsin.edu/wisconsinideas.

The issue details the lamented departure of a talented faculty member and the dilapidated condition of several buildings at UW-River Falls; the effects of reduced services at UW-Green Bay; dramatic increases in faculty workloads at UW-Whitewater; the lack of economic development resources at UW-Eau Claire; and examples of the effects of cuts across the system as a whole.

The issue takes an in-depth look at how budget cuts over many years–including the largest cuts in the UW System's history, which were part of the 2003-05 state budget–have eroded the condition of campus facilities and the capacity for quality instruction, while at the same time, driving up the cost burden placed on UW students.

"University officials feel a sense of pride as they look around the campus and see how the faculty, staff and students are handling the budget cuts. But they are concerned about how the cuts will affect the university's long-term future," Kathy Pletcher, associate provost for information services at UW-Green Bay, told Wisconsin Ideas. "It's one of those things where the changes are incremental. By the time people recognize this, sometimes it's too late to fix it. We can't recapture everything we lost."

The Spring issue of Wisconsin Ideas invites UW System faculty and staff to share their stories of how budget cuts are affecting their campuses at wisconsinideas@uwsa.edu.

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