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Letter to the editor

UW System in trouble after proposed budget cuts

February 18, 2015

Anyone who has attended a UW System school knows the lifelong value of the education they received.

Every year, tens of thousands of Wisconsin families rely on our state’s public university system to provide new adults with a solid foundation of employment skills, problem-solving abilities, and invaluable relationships. The UW System also gives back to the state through research and outreach efforts that benefit the public.

Unfortunately, the budget proposed by Gov. Walker will reduce the quality of a UW education and put the price of that education out of reach for many families. The $300 million cut is more than the entire budget of UW-River Falls. It will mean the layoffs of faculty and staff, the elimination of majors, and the inability to maintain up-to-date technology, equipment and buildings.

Beyond the financial blow, the budget breaks off the UW System from the state government, eliminating its accountability to taxpayers. In two years, the new “public authority” would have the ability to raise tuition an unlimited amount. The hole in the UW System’s budget will be made up with huge tuition increases, placing an UW education out of reach for many Wisconsin families.

The decision to eliminate the “Wisconsin Idea” may have been retracted, but it perfectly represents what this budget does to the UW System. Please contact your legislators and Walker, and ask them to remove the cuts from the budget and preserve a higher education system that serves the needs of Wisconsin families.

Carl Sack
UW-Madison graduate assistant