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Chancellor Mnookin statement on engineering building, changes to reciprocity

March 6, 2024

Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin released the following statement on Wednesday, March 6 following a ceremony in which Governor Tony Evers signed bills authorizing a new engineering building, capital projects and reciprocity changes.

I want to express my deep appreciation to both Governor Evers and the State Legislature for supporting and approving vitally important priorities for UW—Madison and the Universities of Wisconsin. These bipartisan actions strengthen our flagship university and the entire system while also deepening our partnership with the state in critical areas such as innovation, workforce and economic development across Wisconsin. Current and future investment in our infrastructure is vitally important, as we strive to meet these needs and offer a world-class education.

The approval of a new building for UW—Madison’s College of Engineering is a tremendous step forward for our campus, allowing us to educate about 1,000 additional undergraduates in engineering at a time when Wisconsin employers urgently need more engineers, and expanding our engineering faculty’s ability to do innovative, life-changing research.

This project would not be possible without the broad coalition of CEOs, industry partners and devoted alumni who spoke out about the need for a state-of-the-art facility to spark innovation and educate the next generations of engineers, as well as those who have come forward with generous philanthropy to help support this project. I continue to be grateful for your advocacy and support.

I am also thankful for the approval of renovation projects in Kronshage, Jorns and Humphrey residence halls, and for important campus utilities upgrades and other key building projects. These improvements will enhance the student experience at UW—Madison and address campus infrastructure needs.

Finally, the changes approved to Minnesota-Wisconsin tuition reciprocity will provide millions in needed tuition dollars to Universities of Wisconsin institutions, including ours, that had previously been deposited in the state’s General Fund. Under the new tuition reciprocity bill, that money would instead be retained by the UW institutions providing the education. This will have a significant impact for campuses, including UW—Madison, and allow for more investment in educating the students we serve from both states.

I look forward to continued cooperation with the governor, legislative leaders, the Board of Regents and Universities of Wisconsin leadership as we look toward working together to support our students, our research enterprise, and our campus infrastructure in future budget processes.