University of Wisconsin System campuses may have fewer instructors and course offerings under a proposed one-time state budget cut of $65.8 million over two years, according to UW System President Kevin Reilly.
Reilly wrote a letter last week to Brian Hayes, state budget director, outlining how the University of Wisconsin System would manage the cuts that Gov. Scott Walker's administration unveiled in October.
Reilly lamented the "highly disproportionate" level of the cuts, citing the fact that the UW System gets 7 percent of state funding but is taking 38 percent of the cuts, known as a lapse. He suggested an alternate level of $26.6 million.
It seems unlikely that the Department of Administration will reduce UW System's hit. In a November letter to Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center, Secretary Mike Huebsch wrote that UW's cuts are proportionate to the available funds. That's because certain funds, such as school aids and medical assistance, were exempt.
"The challenge then is to meet the lapse requirements from a much narrower list of sources," Huebsch wrote.
The state budget also called for $250 million in permanent cuts to UW System. Reilly said some of the consequences of the cuts could be: vacant instructional positions, fewer advising positions, cut backs to continuing education programs, reduced enrollment in high-need programs, and deferred maintenance on facilities.
The state Legislature's budget committee, the Joint Finance Committee, could still decide to review the administration's decisions.