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Statement from Chancellor Martin on Joint Finance Committee budget action

May 22, 2009

Here is a statement from Chancellor Biddy Martin regarding action in the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee today (Friday, May 22):

“Against the headwind of terrible economic challenges, today’s action by the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee helps the University of Wisconsin–Madison sustain its pre-eminence and its service to the state.

“While the committee’s action includes funding reductions that are necessary to help address the state’s fiscal condition, the committee also protected important priorities: the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff, interdisciplinary research, bioenergy and domestic-partner health insurance for state employees.

“The budget provisions recommended by the panel allow for important strategic investments in faculty and research — investments that will be crucial to the state’s economy as we emerge from this recession.

“The faculty recruitment and retention funding included in the budget will preserve excellence in the classroom and allow us to compete in an increasingly challenging marketplace for top researchers. Top faculty continue to receive outside offers, even in this recessionary economy. Domestic-partner health insurance benefits will also help us retain and attract faculty and staff.

“The committee’s recommendations also provide important startup funding for the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, a public-private partnership with the Morgridge Institute for Research; this partnership and the Wisconsin Genomics Initiative will help to keep UW–Madison on the forefront of interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences. The recommendations also provide funding for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, which also promises to contribute to the health of the state’s economy.”