UW-System creates plan for more flexibility

EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) - The leaders of the University of Wisconsin System have created a plan in response to the move to separate the UW-Madison campus from the rest of the system.

Called the Wisconsin Idea Partnership, the plan would allow the universities to be more flexible when it comes to budgets, personnel management, and becoming more localized to allow them to be more effective in dealing with their budget shortfalls.

UW-System leaders say the entire system should be able to use the same tools to deal with it's financial woes.

Chancellor at UW-Eau Claire Brian Leven-Stankevich says “We need those same kinds of flexibilities to maintain the quality of instruction, the quality of student experiences at our campuses, maintain our connections to our communities if we're going to respond to these budget reductions.“

Press Release

An Open Letter to All Wisconsin State Legislators

Dear Senators and Representatives:

We shared with you a detailed plan in March to help all University of Wisconsin institutions lessen the impact of significant financial challenges. Since that time, we have worked hard to reach out to you personally, to provide more details and answer questions. That plan – the Wisconsin Idea Partnership – would give new leadership flexibilities to all UW institutions at a time when we must find creative new ways to stretch every dollar. Built upon the proposal offered by Governor Walker for UW-Madison, this plan advances our flagship UW campus while simultaneously benefitting all UW campuses and sustaining unity among our colleges and universities. The need for these flexibilities is urgent. With the new budget set to take effect on July 1, any delay in providing these flexibilities would undermine our ability to serve 182,000 students. Moreover, our UW institutions are ready now to accept these new responsibilities, and we are equally ready to embrace new accountability measures that will let you track our performance. In the face of new challenges, our public universities and colleges need a new way of doing business. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership provides all UW chancellors with new tools to manage our institutions efficiently. Because all institutions face significant budget cuts, all need the flexibilities to manage more efficiently in the interest of students, families, and taxpayers in your districts. The Wisconsin Idea Partnership also sustains the Wisconsin Idea, which has immeasurably improved Wisconsin’s economy and communities, and together we can continue this tradition into the future. We send this message with one voice to underscore our shared desire to address the state’s evolving needs as one unified system of higher education that includes UW-Madison. We believe that separating UW-Madison out into an independent public authority will lead to wasteful competition, unnecessary duplication, and frustrating barriers for Wisconsin students. If you have questions or concerns about how the flexibilities that we all seek might be implemented, please contact any of us directly so we can explain how these statutory changes will benefit not only our local campuses, but also the communities and citizens we serve across the State of Wisconsin.

May 11, 2011 Page 2 of 3 Your timely support is vital. We understand that you have many pressing issues to address in the 2011-13 State Budget, thus we appreciate your willingness to consider the Wisconsin Idea Partnership proposal. Most of all, we greatly look forward to working with you to craft a brighter tomorrow for Wisconsin.


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