The University of Wisconsin System has gotten some of what it wanted from the state budget. The Madison campus will not be spun off, although the issue will be studied. Michael Spector, President of the UW System Board of Regents, said the campuses will have some long sought flexibilities in areas including budgeting and personnel management. “Not everything we wanted in those areas, but certainly a significant amount. I think, the way legislation works, it’s a good start for the next biennium,” he said.
On the downside, the two year-budget reduces taxpayer support by $250 million. “We recognize that it’s necessary, that the governor is doing the best he can to spread this deficit reduction over all of the state entities,” said Spector. “We accept that. We don’t like it, but we accept it.” Lawmakers also preserved UW System membership in WiscNet and other Internet collaborations, and allowed UW-Extension to move forward with a $32.3 million federal grant that will improve Internet access in rural Wisconsin.