Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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UW System faces job cuts

Over 200 jobs are being cut from within the UW System due to state budget shortfalls, according to an announcement from the Wisconsin Department of Administration Tuesday.

This is the first big cut to state government since Gov. Scott McCallum announced his plan to reduce the state’s $1.1 billion deficit.

The 220 eliminated UW System positions account for most of the 908 permanent and 500 seasonal jobs announced to be cut from state agencies. The next-largest job cuts will come from the state Department of Corrections, which will be forced to eliminate 191 employees. The Department of Health and Family Services is set to eliminate over 150 jobs.

“The government has made it clear that just as Wisconsin families are adjusting their local budgets, state and local governments must follow suit and begin to live within its means,” State Secretary of Administration George Lightbourn said. “These are tough decisions, but these job cuts are permanent, and the state government must adjust accordingly. Regrettably, further cuts are anticipated.”

Lightbourn said many of the jobs were already empty since the state’s hiring freeze, but warned that more layoffs will be announced in coming weeks.

The hiring freeze from earlier this year forced the Department of Revenue to layoff 500 seasonal workers and the prison system to delay hiring 600 new employees.

UW-Madison will feel its share of the cuts, according to UW System spokesman Erik Christianson, although the exact cuts are yet to be determined.

“We’re not yet prepared to identify the exact programs and departments where the cuts are to be made,” Christianson said. “That won’t be known until the budget reduction process is complete. We do know it’s going to affect every campus.”

Groups from the state and UW System are working together to identify which areas will be cut.

“We will continue to monitor and report on the number of positions eliminated by state agencies as they develop their operating budget plans,” Lightbourn said.

Christianson said UW System President Katharine Lyall and the Board of Regents will try to minimize the impact the cut will have on students.

He said some jobs were already vacant, although he could not specify how many.

“For some time, vacant positions have not been filled,” he said. “We were exempt from last year’s hiring freeze, at which time we agreed to lapse savings to the state.”

Christianson said that every UW school will be affected differently due to different campus sizes and their priorities.

However, he cautioned, all students will feel some effects of the cuts.

“To say there won’t be an impact on students would be inaccurate,” he said.

Despite the number of job cuts, John Torphy, vice chancellor of administration, said he did not know anything about drastic job cuts at UW.

“I have no idea what they are talking about,” Torphy said. “There may be some jobs not filled but we aren’t cutting jobs that I know of.”

Torphy said through the elimination of the Madison Initiative there would not be funding for jobs that had been approved, but no one has been hired for the positions.

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