Under the republican version of a state budget passed last night, the University System would take a hit of at least ninety six-million dollars.
UW System spokesman David Giroux says the university is at the stage that any cut would impact students and if the Assembly budget cuts became law the impact would be huge.
Giroux says it would affect nearly every element of campus life from academics to paying the utility bills to hiring campus police to keep students and staff safe. Not to mention the ability to attract high quality professors.
While Giroux won't predict what a conference committee will finally hash out, he points to what the bi-partisan Joint Finance Committee recommended.
That committee, made up of republicans and democrats from both sides did approve the UW's expansion plan and the building initiatives as requested. If the final budget bill looks like that then the University System would be in good shape.
Giroux says in order for Wisconsin to remain competitive it will need more college educated workers. He says this isn't about being competitive with Illinois or Minnesota anymore.
It's about competing in a global economy with China and India. Two countries, he says, that are ramping up their higher education investment at a break neck pace.