Regents approve UW System budget request
The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today approved an operating budget request for $107.5 million in new state funding. If supported by the governor and state legislators, the increase would be used to serve more students in high-demand programs and support continued excellence in research and education.
“This budget will help us continue to push on our priorities, which are, as always, focused on student success, preparing our graduates for excellent careers, and promoting innovation and outreach across the state,” UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank says. “The funding for STEM and high-demand programs like nursing, computer science, and engineering will particularly help us meet the needs of state employers.
“With continued investment from the state, UW–Madison will remain a world-class university in education, health, and research that changes lives and powers Wisconsin’s economy.”
The budget request includes $82.5 million in outcomes-based funding to support university and statutorily required goals related to student success, workforce development and operational efficiencies, and $25 million to address capacity-building initiatives, primarily for STEM and high-demand fields.
In addition, the regents approved a $1.9 billion capital budget recommendation that includes $90 million in state funding to expand the building that houses the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, the only veterinary school in Wisconsin. The current vet hospital is a much-used resource for farmers and pet owners — it was built to accommodate 12,000 patients a year and last year served 26,500 from across Wisconsin and beyond.
UW System’s capital request, which largely focuses on renovation, repair and replacement of aging or obsolete facilities, seeks funding for projects in the 2019-21 biennium as well as the 2021-23 biennium. More than 60 percent of the UW System’s 62 million square-foot building inventory was constructed between 1950 and 1979, and much of that inventory has had little renovation or upgrade since its inception.
The operating and capital budget requests will be forwarded to the governor, who will present a budget to the state legislature for deliberation early next year. The budget bill must be passed by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee, then by both houses of the legislature, before returning to the governor to be signed into law.