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UW Regents: State Budget Cuts Will Challenge Campuses

Members of the UW Board of Regents expressed regret Thursday, that they did not adequately detail the UW System's finances to legislators.

The Joint Finance Committee voted recently to slash the system's budget, after an audit showed the system having $650 million in reserves at the end of the fiscal year, and, after raising tuition repeatedly.

At their meeting in Milwaukee, Regent Jose Vasquez said financial planners should have clarified that much of what appears to be a surplus, is actually money earmarked for projects not yet paid. He says it was not simply excess cash, sitting in a bank account.

After learning of the hefty reserve, lawmakers also called for a two-year tuition freeze.

According to UW System Senior Vice President David Miller, the proposed state budget would cut support for the campuses by $181 million, but the total could be higher, when figuring in new, unfunded obligations.