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UW leaders appreciate investment in academic building projects

June 8, 2021

Updated, 9 p.m.: An earlier version of this post used an incorrect quote attributed to L & S Dean Eric Wilcots.

The legislature’s Joint Finance Committee advanced its version of the state’s 2021-23 capital budget Tuesday, including funding for a new academic facility for the College of Letters & Science at UW–Madison.

The committee also voted to fund a major utility project on the campus that would set the stage for constructing a new College of Engineering facility in the future.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank says both facilities will help the university spur economic growth across the state.

“The decision to invest in Letters & Science is a decision to invest in all UW–Madison students. L&S courses are the foundation of our undergraduate experience across all majors. As our student body has grown in recent years, we need more classrooms and classrooms that support collaborative learning and new instructional technology. Students from across campus will benefit from this building, and will take their improved learning experiences into the workforce where they will help Wisconsin businesses compete and prosper.

“And while we had hoped that the committee would fund a new Engineering building in the upcoming biennium, we appreciate the longer-range commitment to that project via the funding of the utilities work needed to support it. These two projects will go a long way toward strengthening our position as an economic engine for Wisconsin and a destination of choice for college-bound students from around the world,” says Blank.

“We truly appreciate our state legislators’ support for the contributions of the College of Letters & Science to the UW–Madison experience and the need for a modern, interactive, and world-class space where students from all disciplines on campus can acquire critical skills,” says Eric M. Wilcots, dean of the College of Letters & Science. “This new academic building will modernize the student learning experience and build research connections across campus, better serving the needs of our growing undergraduate population. By supporting this new academic facility, the state is investing wisely in a brighter future and a vibrant workforce.”

In the coming weeks, the committee will take up the remaining portions of the 2021-23 state budget including annual pay plans for state employees. After the Joint Finance Committee concludes its work, the biennial budget bill will be voted on by each house and returned to the governor’s desk for his signature and/or vetoes.