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Chancellor Blank statement on state agency funding lapse

July 22, 2020

Chancellor Blank released the following statement on July 22, 2020:

“Today’s announcement by Governor Evers and the Department of Administration that state agencies will be required to provide $250 million in cost savings in anticipation of the need to curb state spending is another example of the financial strain that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on government, businesses and families across Wisconsin.  It is important that we all do our fair share to get through this difficult time.

But we must also remember that the UW System was asked to bear a disproportionate share of the original $70 million cost savings that was announced in May.  During this same time UW–Madison has incurred significant costs to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students and employees, including more than $10 million invested so far for personal protective equipment and COVID testing. In addition, we are investing heavily in virtual technologies to guarantee our ability to deliver a top-quality education for those classes that must be taught online.

Recent estimates suggest that UW–Madison will incur an overall financial impact well in excess of $150 million even before the additional loss of state funds is factored in.

As decisions are made about how the $250 million in cost savings are allocated across state agencies, I hope state leaders take into account the importance of trying to maintain the state’s investment in higher education and the share of the earlier cost savings absorbed by UW System.”

Tags: covid-19