Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Regents approve consolidation

[media-credit name=’BRYAN FAUST/Herald Photo’ align=’alignnone’ width=’648′]regents_BF_416[/media-credit]After a month-long absence from meetings, the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents reconvened Thursday to discuss a full load of initiatives.

The regents unanimously chose to combine the UW System’s Colleges and Extension programs under one administrative unit. The decision comes after a comprehensive four-month study initiated by UW System President Kevin P. Reilly.

The two institutions share several beneficial characteristics, including dispersion across the state, Madison headquarters and strong ties to their respective counties.


“We are in a time of change, and we are asking Colleges and Extension to go first,” Reilly said.

The UW System has been forced to exhibit similar consolidation trends around the state, due to a loss of state funding last year and the need to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

According to Reilly, UW-Extension and Colleges have both expressed a desire to go beyond the mere administrative union of the systems and into collaboration.

“More ideas will surface if this cross-institutional fertilization is allowed to take root,” Reilly said.

A recruitment process for the single institution will begin soon, according to Reilly.

Regents also began discussion of Gov. Jim Doyle’s 2005-07 executive budget proposal.

With respect to the UW System, Doyle has reallocated $65 million in administrative savings, reduced an additional 200 administrative jobs, added $49 million of new state tax money and asked $100 million to be raised through tuition with 5.9 and 5.4 percent increases.

Additionally, the budget requires $47 million of tax support to financial aid through the UW Wisconsin Higher Education Grant (UW-WHEG), which gives $4 million more to students.

Doyle’s strains on the UW System had many regents wondering what would happen should the budget not increase funding to the system.

“There are a number of things to like in this budget,” Reilly said. “But the need to fund some of this through reallocation of academic and student services hurts. My fear is that we’re gradually hollowing out the core.”

Many regents expressed concern over the governor’s proposal.

“We’ve improved our position with the Legislature,” Regent President Toby Marcovich said. “This isn’t a one-time deal. We took our hit, and I think we took more than we deserved.”

Regent Guy Gottschalk also noted the substantial threat the proposal posed to students.

“If I’m a student, this is a horrible budget,” Gottschalk said. “Once again, the university is asked to bear an inappropriate share of bailing out state government. I appreciate the positive things the governor did, but I think he came up way short.”

However, Regent Vice President David Walsh made it clear the state of the UW System was better than most, considering it has the second-lowest tuition in the Big Ten.

Regents also discussed the implementation of the second phase of Plan 2008, a state initiative to increase diversity in student, faculty and staff populations.

According to UW System Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Cora Marrett, system administration and campuses will be finalizing plans in March.

Reilly was optimistic about the challenge and the possibilities put forth by Plan 2008.

“Make no mistake about it — Plan 2008 is core,” Reilly said. “It lies at the heart of what we [are] about as a system of public higher-education institutions.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *