The UW-Madison Faculty Senate passed a resolution officially addressing recent budget cuts to the UW System Monday.
The legislation asks the governor and the Wisconsin State Legislature to reduce the UW System’s portion of budget cuts to a more proportional level and “renew the state’s investment in education.”
In October, state legislators announced $65.7 million in cuts to the UW System in addition to the $250 million in original cuts. The new cuts will account for 38 percent of total cuts included in the state’s lapse.
Brad Barham, chair of the Faculty Senate’s University Committee, brought the resolution before the senate. Barham said the resolution is meant to address the “repeated and disproportionate” cuts to education in recent years.
“We ask the Faculty Senate to make a stand here,” said Braham. “This is a phenomenal state, but it’s a phenomenal state going down fast if this continues.”
Interim Chancellor David Ward said letters advocating for a response have been sent from a variety of sources within the system.
“There has been some disquiet about whether this proportion really was fair,” Ward said. “It really was not fair from our point of view. It seems clear that we need to make a stance on this.”
The Faculty Senate discussed the resolution and potential changes that could improve it.
Faculty Senator Mark Etzel suggested the legislation include information showing the public how cuts to the UW System will directly affect them.
“I wonder if there’s [a list] of things you could say that will impact someone sitting at home that’s a tax payer and say why [they] should care,” Etzel said.
Faculty Senator Sarah Goldrick-Rab said it’s important for the public to know that these cuts are a result of state, not university, actions.
“It needs to be made abundantly clear that the faculty are saying it is not educators seeking to charge these students more money, but it’s the state that’s doing it’s job,” Goldrick-Rab said.
The senate passed the resolution with the intention of creating a second and more specific resolution to address the issue in their December meeting.