Impact of Assembly-approved budget cuts

March 26, 2002

Chancellor John Wiley outlined March 26 for lawmakers the likely consequences of the proposed budget adjustment bill as approved by the State Assembly. Under that scenario, the budget reduction to UW–Madison would be about $40. 5 million (12 percent of the discretionary funding provided by the state).

Here is a summary of the actions that would need to be taken to address that reduction:

  • About 100 faculty positions that are scheduled to be hired in 2002-03 would be eliminated. This involves 60 new positions and 40 replacements of faculty who are retiring or leaving. This number would expand by another 50 positions if WARF and the UW Foundation decrease matching funds. A consequence is that UW–Madison would have fewer faculty than at the time of the merger of the UW System 30 years ago. In addition, an estimated $25 million in research funding that these faculty would likely bring with them would be foregone.
  • Between 250-300 academic and classified staff and graduate assistant positions would be eliminated. As a result, some layoffs would occur even though administration would try to limit them by facilitating worker transfers to other related positions and employment opportunities.
  • Because of reductions in faculty and instructional staff, students would experience larger discussion and lab sections in nearly all freshmen and sophomore courses, and funding for teaching lab modernization projects would be eliminated.
  • Need-based grants for low-income students that have enabled them to participate in Study Abroad programs would be eliminated.
  • Most programs in phase two of the Madison Initiative would be eliminated, including the master’s in biotechnology program, the e-commerce program, the capstone/terminal masters program initiative, the international studies improvement program and the faculty-taught small freshmen/sophomore classes initiative. In addition, funding would be frozen for instructional technology initiatives (both in classroom and distance education), technology transfer, financial assistance for students, freshmen interest groups, undergraduate research opportunities and the PEOPLE precollege program.
  • Library resources would be further reduced: Another round of journal cancellations and the elimination of electronic access to some journals is likely.
  • Targeted cuts for travel, printing and advertising eliminates 83 percent of all the general tax money that UW–Madison currently spends for these purposes. As a result, all travel would have to cease, except for individuals with access to federal grants or to private gift or grant funds. In addition, we would have less than one-third of the money needed to provide required printing and advertising for job opportunities, meeting notices, transcripts, tuition bills, payroll checks, course timetables, admission/application forms, housing contracts, state and federal required reports, etc.
  • A cutback of nearly 25 percent in funding for capital and supply and expenses costs would result in delay or elimination of capital and information technology replacements and purchases; increases in deferred maintenance needs; and reduction of at least 25 percent in custodial and maintenance services in facilities.