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UW officials complain education will suffer under proposed budget

Gov. Jim Doyle wants more financial aid so more students can go to college.

But University of Wisconsin officials say the quality of that education would suffer under Doyle's proposed new state budget.

Kevin Reilly, UW-System president, told the UW Board of Regents Thursday that the school's Growth Agenda would have to slow down.

It's designed to increase the number of Wisconsinites who have college degrees by adding more nursing, science and technology programs, offering more night classes and expanding research.

Doyle approved the program in his last budget, but did not include $29 million in his next budget to keep it going.

The governor is now calling for $120 million in UW spending cuts and transferring another $54 million from self-supporting operations like dormitories to help close the state's deficit.

The Regents told UW chancellors to merge or eliminate unpopular or unneeded courses and reduce their travel and hiring.

Madison chancellor Biddy Martin said the cuts will mean fewer faculty and less funding for graduate students.

Reilly said the UW would have to raise tuition 17 percent to off-set the budget cuts, but the final number will only be a fraction of that.

Regent David Walsh warned against protesting the budget cuts too much, considering how bad the economy is.

He says the recession's hurting everyone, and the UW must join the rest of us in tightening its belt.