The Advance-Titan

Forum discusses UW System budget cuts

The Impact of Wisconsin’s Budget on UW Oshkosh forum brought together campus members and local businesses to discuss budget cuts on March 26 at the Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.

The forum was hosted by The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and presented three speakers: Todd Berry, president of Wisconsin Taxpayer’s Alliance; Chancellor Andrew Leavitt of University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; and State Senator Rick Gudex of the 18th Senate District.

According to Berry, there were some major take-aways, including this budget being similar to previous budgets.

“Wisconsin state government has a long, bipartisan history of budgeting to the edge with little thought given to the value of long-term stability and predictability,” Berry said.

Berry said he thought it was crucial to make it clear to the audience the proposed budget is indeed such, and there is no certainty that it will pass as is, because both parties are concerned.

“The Governor’s budget is a proposal, a first step,” Berry said. “Even though the governor is of the same party, state legislative leaders [R] have been clear that they intend to overhaul, or at least tweak, the budget in a number of areas, including the UW.”

Gudex said Leavitt has made sure the impact on both the University and the community will be as minimal as possible.

“I give the Chancellor a lot of credit for taking a proactive approach,” Gudex said. “That has not been the case with all universities across the state.”

Gudex said people should remember that only Walker’s proposed budget has been seen.

“We are now in the timeframe that the Joint Committee on Finance holds public hearings and the Legislature makes changes based on what we have heard from our constituents,” Gudex said.

Gudex and Berry said another part of the budget to look at besides the cut is the public authority.

UWO junior Blake Schlieve attended the meeting and said the public authority seemed complicated and raised a lot of questions prior to the budget discussion.

“I understood the basic idea of the public authority prior to the meeting, but it made everything a lot more clear,” Schlieve said. “It was definitely worth getting up early.”
According to Schlieve, Leavitt and the other speakers did an excellent job at helping discuss how the public authority would affect UWO and the Oshkosh community as a whole.
Gudex said the public authority would allow for stability when it comes to planning accordingly.

“By creating a public authority, the system will have a regular funding stream and will be able to plan accordingly,” Gudex said.

Gudex said he has a great deal of confidence in the public authority and wants people to see the change as something to look forward to.

“Nobody likes change, but I’m confident that this will be a positive change for the future of our UW System,” Gudex said.

On behalf of Leavitt, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Integrated Marketing Communications Jamie Ceman said the event presented a positive dialogue between the campus and the business community.

“Chancellor Leavitt was very pleased with the productive dialogue that took place between the campus and the business community,” Ceman said.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Forum discusses UW System budget cuts