On Campus: Unclaimed funds to stay with MATC in lawsuit settlement

2012-11-26T15:15:00Z On Campus: Unclaimed funds to stay with MATC in lawsuit settlementDAN SIMMONS | Wisconsin State Journal | dsimmons@madison.com | 608-252-6136 madison.com

About $4,500 of unclaimed funds in a lawsuit against Madison Area Technical College will stay with the college instead of going toward a national association of university professors, a Dane County judge ruled last week.

The money is a remnant of a settlement reached between the college and its part-time faculty members last December. Part-time teachers filed a class-action lawsuit against the college in September 2010 alleging the college underpaid members of the faculty.

MATC agreed to pay out $34,800 to 1,436 people who taught at the college from fall 2008 through summer 2011, mostly in amounts of less than $5. However, not everyone claimed the funds, leaving the $4,500 at the discretion of the court.

The part-time faculty argued that it should be donated to the American Association of University Professors.

"It is the instructors' money, regardless of whether or not they were around to claim it," said union representative Bob Curry in an email. "It no longer belongs to the taxpayers or the college."

Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess ruled against them last week, awarding the unclaimed funds to the college to be used for educational purposes.

Recruiting the East

Not everyone cheered the news last week that the Big (more than) Ten Conference will be expanding eastward to include Rutgers and Maryland.

In fact, the move prompted jokes on social media sites and elsewhere that such schools as the University of Phoenix and the defunct pro hockey team the Hartford Whalers would soon begin joining the Big Ten.

However, the news likely was met with better enthusiasm by UW-Madison students from the Eastern seaboard, traditionally a strong recruiting area.

New Jersey, home to Rutgers, sent 365 students to University of Wisconsin System schools last year, ranking 12th among all states. A majority, 310, attended UW-Madison. Maryland was just behind in 14th place among states, sending 309 students to UW System schools, including 266 to the Madison campus.

Wisconsin's neighboring states of Minnesota and Illinois send by far the most out-of-state students to UW-Madison, with each topping 3,000. The Mariana Islands, U.S. territories that include Guam, sends the fewest, at two.

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