UW System

Emily Files / WUWM

Updated at 2:50 p.m. CT

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross directed campuses Thursday to prepare to cut academic programs and brace for layoffs as the coronavirus pandemic deepens the system's financial losses.

Cross said he wants campuses to evaluate their programs by January with an eye toward cost, whether they are duplicated at another campus, and student demand. System officials will decide which courses to eliminate subject to regents' approval, Cross told reporters during a video conference Wednesday afternoon.

Emily Files / WUWM

As 2019 comes to a close, we’re looking back at some of Wisconsin’s most important education stories of the year – many of which will continue to play out in 2020.

The year started on a high note for public school advocates, with Democratic Gov. Tony Evers taking office. Evers spent his career in education, eventually becoming Wisconsin’s superintendent of schools, and then ousting Republican incumbent Scott Walker for the governor’s seat in the November 2018 election.

America's top public universities, known as flagships, are generally the most well-resourced public universities in their respective states — think the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor or the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Courtesy UW System

The University of Wisconsin System will soon be searching for a new leader. President Ray Cross announced his retirement Friday after five years on the job and more than 40 years in higher education.  

Cross, 71, will stay on as president until the Board of Regents hires a successor.

Survey: Quarter Of Women At UW-Madison Sexually Assaulted

Oct 16, 2019
Mike McGinnis / Getty Images

More than a quarter of University of Wisconsin-Madison undergraduate women who responded to a survey said they have been sexually assaulted since they entered college, the school said Tuesday.

UW-Madison participated in the Association of American Universities survey this spring along with 32 other colleges. School officials said 7,697 students, including 1,980 graduate students, answered the questionnaire. Women made up 64% of the respondents.

UW-Madison Says Foxconn Slow In Fulfilling $100M Pledge

Sep 11, 2019
Foxconn Twitter

The University of Wisconsin says it has received just $700,000 of the $100 million that Foxconn Technology Group pledged to fund engineering and innovation research on the school's flagship campus.

Emily Files

Several states have taken steps to make college more affordable by creating free-tuition "promise" programs. Each one is different, but in general, they allow students to attend community college, or sometimes public universities, for free.

Emily Files

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is calling Republican lawmakers’ UW funding proposal "micromanaging" and a "missed opportunity."

Cross was in Milwaukee for a Board of Regents meeting this week. It was the first regents gathering since the Joint Committee on Finance surprised UW leaders with its spending plan. The budget-writing committee voted along party lines to advance a $58 million increase for UW schools over the next two years.  

PHIL ROEDER / FLICKR

Republican lawmakers scaled back another piece of Gov. Tony Evers’ education funding plan this week: support for the University of Wisconsin System.

The Democratic governor is seeking a $126 million increase for UW schools. But the GOP-dominated budget-writing committee settled on a much lower number — $58 million.

It follows the Joint Committee on Finance's decision last week to chop Evers' K-12 spending plan by more than half.

uwm-chemistry-building
Emily Files

In his proposed biennial capital budget, Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend $2.5 billion on public building projects. About half of that money would go to University of Wisconsin facilities, including a new $130 million chemistry building at UW-Milwaukee.

On Thursday, UW System President Ray Cross held a press conference to rally support for the proposed chemistry building replacement.

Phil Roeder/Flickr

Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend an additional $150 million on Wisconsin’s public universities and colleges in the next two years. Evers plans to announce the proposal as part of his biennial budget address Thursday night.

The new governor’s proposal is a departure from his predecessor, Republican Scott Walker. Walker cut funding for the UW System and limited the universities’ ability to raise revenue by imposing a tuition freeze for in-state students.

Emily Files

It's been an interesting year for education in Wisconsin. With 2018 coming to a close, let's look back at some of the biggest education stories in the state.

Education was a central topic in the contest between incumbent Scott Walker and challenger Tony Evers.  Walker called himself "the education governor."

"In the last budget, we gave the largest actual-dollar investment in K-12 education in the history of this state," Walker said in his first debate against Evers. 

Emily Files

Wisconsin’s higher education system is going through a quiet but major change. Beginning this school year, the state’s 13 two-year colleges are now branch campuses of four-year universities. The restructuring is an effort to keep the colleges’ doors open despite declining enrollment and revenue.

Maayan Silver

The University of Wisconsin System's Board of Regents is set to approve a new budget that would increase student fees for the 2018-2019 school year, as well as the cost of room and board. This comes at a time when the UW System has been dealing with both a tuition freeze, and cuts in state funding.

The UW Board of Regents' spending plan calls for raising student fees at four-year schools an average of $33 per student. Room and board would increase an average of $118 per year.

Rachel Morello

With change comes uncertainty -- and uncertain is exactly the vibe on UW-Milwaukee’s campus, as faculty, staff and students begin to learn more about the future of their school.

Wisconsin’s public university system will look different in 2018. Come next fall, UWM will merge with a couple two-year UW campuses.

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