The Joint Finance Committee voted to release $45 million over two years in performance-based funding to the UW System, along with nearly $9 million for dairy research on three campuses Wednesday.
The committee voted unanimously to approve the $45 million — $22.5 million each year — to fund pay raises and projects to help students graduate on time and prepare them for careers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Twelve million, or about 27 percent, will be used for raises.
The state budget already included the funding, but UW System officials couldn’t access it until the JFC voted to approve it.
“This funding will allow us to continue our focus on meeting Wisconsin’s needs, especially in the high-demand fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” UW System President Ray Cross said. “The UW System’s emphasis on student success is leading to more graduates than ever, and we remain the best investment Wisconsin can make.”
Nearly $9 million also would fund a UW System Dairy Innovation Hub located at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls. The three campuses would get $1 million this year and just under $8 million next year.
The universities plan to use the money to fund research jobs, equipment and research farms.
The UW System’s goals for the project include four areas to protect and expand: land and water resources, human health and nutrition, animal health and welfare, as well as farm businesses and communities.
The deans of the three campuses’ agriculture colleges — Dale Gallenberg from UW-River Falls, Kate VandenBosch from UW-Madison and Wayne Weber from UW-Platteville — responded to the funding in a joint statement.
“This reinvestment will allow the agricultural programs within UW System to train current and future industry leaders and transfer new knowledge to farms, processing plants, fields and beyond,” they said.