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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Martin to propose new initiative to UW System Board of Regents

Chancellor Biddy Martin will officially propose the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates to the UW System Board of Regents Thursday. 


Martin will attend the meeting in Milwaukee and submit her proposal to the Business, Finance and Audit Committee, according to John Lucas, a spokesperson for UW-Madison. 


""The recent reports about the state's budget make the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates even more important,"" Martin said in an e-mail. ""We must begin immediately to increase need-based aid and build new partnerships between students and their families on the one hand and alumni and friends on the other.""  


If passed by the regents, the initiative would be implemented for the 2009-'10 academic school year. Out-of-state residents would see their tuition increase by $750 each year for the next four years, and out-of-state students' tuition would increase by $250 each year.  


According to Martin's draft of the proposal, the initiative is ""aimed at improving the quality of undergraduate education and the undergraduate experience while enhancing affordability for families with demonstrated financial need."" 


""The time to address significant challenges at the university is now, if we are to ensure that students have access to financial aid, and if we are to preserve the quality of our educationand the value of our degree,"" Martin said.  


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According to the proposal, differential tuition would restore 100 faculty members into key instructional positions, eliminating ""bottlenecks in key gateway courses like chemistry, biology, math and Spanish."" 


At previous gatherings with UW-Madison student leaders and officials, Martin said the initiative would help sustain the university's reputation among its Big Ten competitors.  


UW-Madison is currently the second-cheapest public university in the Big Ten after the University of Iowa.  


Residents pay $7,564 per year at UW-Madison, compared to Pennsylvania residents who pay $13,706 per year at Penn State, the most expensive public Big Ten school for residents. 


The Associated Students of Madison has been working closely with Martin to garner student support for the initiative. The group voted in favor of the initiative at a Student Council meeting in April. 


According to Lucas, ASM polled 2,800 students about the initiative. Results revealed a significant increase in approval for Martin's new tuition plan compared to an earlier ASM poll. 


For more about the initiative, visit

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