State News

Walker proposes 5 percent tuition cut, $42.5M more in performance-based funding for UW

Gov. Scott Walker announced part of his state budget proposal Tuesday, which includes a 5 percent tuition cut for all in-state UW System undergrads.

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Gov. Scott Walker’s state budget proposal includes a 5 percent tuition cut for all in-state undergraduates in the UW System and $42.5 million more in funding that is tied to performance.

The tuition cut would take place during the 2018-’19 academic school year, while the in-state tuition freeze continues for the first year of the new biennial budget. The cut would save a UW-Madison student roughly $524 a year on tuition.

Walker’s proposal for $42.5 million in performance-based funding would be distributed by the Board of Regents to UW System institutions based on their performance on rankings specifically related to “improving accessibility, enhancing work readiness, ensuring student success in the workforce, administrative efficiency, service, and two additional criteria to be specified by the Board of Regents.”

Walker said each UW institution will have to publish a “Performance Funding Report Card” in order to ensure transparency.

The tuition cut would be paid for with $35 million dollars of General Purpose Revenue, which would be in the UW System’s block grant. This money would be allocated to different UW System institutions based on how much revenue they lose as a result of the tuition decrease.

Walker also proposed that the Board of Regents will be required to establish a faculty workload policy, which would include policies for monitoring teaching time. Individual faculty and instructional academic staff members would have to report the number of hours they spent teaching to UW System administration. 

In this proposal, Walker said the regent’s plan must also develop policies for rewarding faculty and instructional academic staff who teach more than the standard academic load. 

Opting out of segregated fees

Walker also proposed that UW students could opt-out of allocable segregated fees, which he said would give students the opportunity to decide what they want to fund.UW-Madison students pay $607.56 per semester in segregated fees, and only roughly $90 of that money is allocable.

Colin Barushok, chair of the student government committee in charge of allocating UW-Madison student segregated fees, said this proposal is an example of state government reaching past what they are in control of. 

“This is the best example of big government overreach, trying to take control of our allocable fees,” Barushok said. “They don’t have any business telling students they can opt-out of these fees, especially considering these fees are allocated by elected student officials.”

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