October 9, 2015

UW System President responds to longer tuition freeze

The president of the University of Wisconsin System says he wants to work with the governor and Legislature to create the best budget possible for the university. That’s how Ray Cross responded today, after Governor Scott Walker said he wanted to freeze UW tuition through the summer of 2017.

Walker said he was concerned about a surplus in the UW System that’s projected to be over a billion dollars by the end of the school year. Walker and GOP lawmakers imposed the first tuition freeze a year ago, after being blindsided by reports of large university cash reserves while tuition kept going up 5.5 percent.

While Cross on Friday agreed with Walker’s sentiment, he also signaled there could be some reservations about the plan. In a statement, Cross said “Holding college costs down helps Wisconsin students and families.” However, he also noted that “UW tuition is already lower than many peer colleges and universities.”

Cross said “We intend to thoughtfully and judiciously manage and explain our resources. We will continue to work with the Governor and the Legislature to meet our shared goal of delivering value to the state of Wisconsin.”

The governor said he would include another two-year tuition freeze in his next state budget in early 2015, if he’s reelected this fall. GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he expects his colleagues to consider the tuition freeze while working to assure a quality university system. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald also supported a continued freeze, as did both chairs of the Legislature’s finance panel.

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