Imagine that your daughter just got accepted to UW-Madison… you’re elated! How great that your daughter will attending a great university and hopefully receiving an education that will prepare her for life. But before your daughter has attended one class or experienced a single moment of the education for which you will all be paying through the nose, you get this:
From: Office of the Chancellor [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, February 05, 2015 1:33 PM
Subject: You can help us
University of Wisconsin
I don’t have to tell you how hard your child worked to make it to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. You saw the late-night study sessions, the homework assignments they dutifully tackled on weekends, the many sacrifices they made to ensure they would make the grade.
The hard work paid off with your son’s or daughter’s admission to UW–Madison, one of the premier public academic and research institutions in the United States and throughout the world.
A degree from UW–Madison is a valuable credential, one that opens many doors as our students move from the university into the working world.
One of the reasons for UW–Madison’s success is the investment the State of Wisconsin has historically made in its flagship institution. However, Governor Scott Walker has proposed cutting the University of Wisconsin System by $300 million over the next two years to help fill a state budget deficit. UW–Madison’s share of that cut is expected to be $57 million per year. This is on top of the $23 million reduction the campus received in the budget passed by the Legislature two years ago.
Together with other cuts included in the governor’s budget, UW–Madison is likely to face at least an $86 million budget hole next year if the proposal is enacted. “If the full amount of Governor Walker’s proposed $300 million cut is implemented, it will be the largest cut to the UW in state history.”
If the full amount of Governor Walker’s proposed $300 million cut is implemented, it will be the largest cut to the UW in state history. It will diminish our ability to provide our students with a quality education; it will hinder our ability to provide vital services such as academic advising and other student support programs; and it puts at risk the investment that generations of Wisconsinites have made to create a highly ranked university in our state.
The governor has called for another two-year freeze for in-state undergraduate tuition, which I fully support. He has also proposed a public authority model that would provide flexibilities in areas such as purchasing, management of building projects, and authority over a pay plan for university employees. These are welcome reforms that would eventually allow the System to function more effectively, but the public authority will take some time to implement and will provide no budget relief in the short term.
I urge you to contact your local legislators to ask them to reduce the proposed cut to the university budget so that we can continue to provide Wisconsin students with an outstanding education and serve the state in the best tradition of the Wisconsin Idea. You can find information about the overall university budget in our Budget in Brief document and follow news about the budget at budget.wisc.edu.
Thank you for letting your voice be heard!
Chancellor, University of Wisconsin–Madison
There you have it. The UW Chancellor using school resources and time to lobby on the budget and shamelessly pimping her politics to the parents of new students.