Sunday, November 27, 2011

The skewing of the UW budget

At the University of Wisconsin – Madison, we've watched the budget steadily get warped and skewed. For at least two decades, faculty and administrators have been expressing the concern that cuts, often large but more importantly relentless over time, will damage or destroy this institution. With the current cuts, we're now there.

The Faculty Senate will discuss a resolution about this at its next meeting. I want to call your attention to two points from it: Counting the new cuts (both the base cut and the 'lapse' which is now pretty widely understood to be destined to be a permanent cut), from 2001 until the current budget, our General Purpose Revenue from the State (that is, the basic state support for UW) has changed pretty clearly, in 2010 adjusted dollars:
  • 2001                         Now
  • $370 million            $206.5 million
That is, we're now getting 55.8% of what we were basically a decade ago from the state.

At the same time, tuition has shifted even more dramatically:
  • 2001                              Now
  • $5,044 per student        $8,987 per student
 That's a 78% increase.

Those two pieces are what cover the basic costs of undergraduate education.

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