UW System President Outlines Cost Cutting Measures

By: Dana Brueck
By: Dana Brueck

The president of the UW System says he continues to make cuts while student enrollment continues to climb. On Wednesday, the president released findings from a report put together for a state legislative audit committee. It shows how the system plans to save $15 million a year.

A possible theme for the UW System is maximizing efficiency while coping with broad administrative cuts.

UW Platteville Chancellor Dave Markee says, "Those people are the front line for us as it relates to students and services they need."

In the meantime, President Kevin Reilly says the system has gained 10, 000 students in ten years.

"If number of students we admit keeps rising, and the administrative support keeps going down at some point, we're going to have a quality crisis," Reilly says.

He says the cuts already have impacted students to some degree.

"I think chancellors have done a wonderful job of minimizing the damage through very creative management of these cuts, but there has been damage and the deeper we have to go, the more damage there will be."

Markee sees it first hand. "When you have 80 percent of your dollars that are tied into personnel, you have to look immediately some big savings by looking at positions."

225 administrative positions cut to save nearly $14 million. They affect such areas as counseling, student records, library hours and other services.

"We're thinly administered because the state has been cutting funding for administration and we have been loath to cut enrollment because we have a goal that I think we share with the state," Reilly says.

That goal, the president says, is access.

One proposal to save more money combines the administrative offices of the system's colleges and its extension service.

Reilly says, "We can come up with some interesting new programs that those two institutions working together with a single administration can help generate in terms of additional degrees."

The governor unveils his budget next week.

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