UW System President Ray Cross is working closely with state lawmakers and the governor’s office, in hopes of reducing funding cuts to the system. An English professor last month in a public forum asked Cross point blank whether he’d resign if he couldn’t achieve that goal. Cross replied emphatically, “Yes.”
Thursday afternoon during a Board of Regents meeting in Waukesha, Cross elaborated on his response. “Some may have interpreted my one-word answer as a threat, that I’m gonna pick up my marbles and go home or quit if I didn’t get my way,” he said. “I’m really sorry if some misinterpreted my meaning.”
Governor Walker has proposed cutting $300 million in funding from the UW System. Cross explained, beyond that, there are 45 to 50 million dollars’ worth of additional cuts to the system, resulting in a net reduction closer to $350 million. He said he’s negotiating to reduce those cuts, gain flexibility, and create a dedicated funding structure. “The fact is I was, and I still am, confident in our momentum and in the new relationship we are developing with the legislature.”
Cross is making “steady progress” toward the goal of reducing the cuts, he said at Thursday’s meeting.
The Regents are expected to talk about tuition increases in their Friday morning meeting.