Statement from Chancellor Blank on the federal budget proposal

May 23, 2017

The administration’s FY ‘18 budget proposal makes deep cuts to federally funded research, the arts and humanities, and programs that foster access and affordability for students.

If enacted by Congress, such cuts would significantly impact the nation’s public research institutions and the students who attend our institutions, as well as the overall competitiveness of our country.

The proposed cuts in research funding in areas would harm numerous programs at UW–Madison vital to the interests of our state:

  • A reduction for NIH would severely impact lifesaving research and will slow the development of new treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases. These cuts will also impact our graduate training programs which educate the next generation of science leaders.
  • A reduction for NSF would impact groundbreaking work in the areas of advanced manufacturing and material sciences research.
  • A reduction for DOE, Office of Science would threaten innovative research happening at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center and high-energy physics.
  • A reduction for USDA would limit our ability to generate innovations in agriculture that translate directly to farmers.
  • A reduction to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration could have devastating effects to efforts that enhance weather forecasting capability, preserve coastal areas and water resources.
  • Cuts to work-study student aid would affect about 2,000 student workers, and potentially lead to higher student fees and housing costs.
  • Cuts to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) would harm 2,183 lower-income students who depend on this aid.
  • The arts and humanities are also vital to the education of our students and support of our faculty and the elimination of NEA and NEH would have ripple effects across campus, hurting efforts to assist veterans, preserve film history and programs to study the Constitution.

And there are many other examples.

During the recent FY ‘17 budget debate, we were heartened to see Congress respond to the concerns raised not only by public universities and higher education associations, but also by ordinary citizens who benefit from university programs that improve our nation’s economy, environment, and our health and well-being.

We will work closely with our congressional delegation and others in Washington to advocate on behalf of UW–Madison and the state of Wisconsin in the months to come as the FY ‘18 budget is deliberated.