UW-Milwaukee expansion projects have been tabled, and tuition hikes may come in the school’s future, according to school officials during Friday’s budget update meeting.
Capital projects at UWM have all been brought to a halt in response to last year’s $250 million budget cut to the UW-System. It has been estimated that 90 percent of capital projects system wide have been denied in the last year.
Among the projects that have been “zeroed out” at UWM is work on the Northwest Quadrant, which Chancellor Mark Mone called a “critically important piece of real-estate” for the school. This is due to long-term planning that sees eight schools and colleges either permanently or temporarily housed in the building.
Other projects that were not approved include a basketball practice facility, expansion at the innovation campus, work on the union and a chemistry building.
Mone also addressed the current tuition freeze, saying it is not an effective long-term strategy. “The reality is costs do go up,” he said.
Due to the financial constraints put on UWM by last year’s unprecedented budget cut, UWM will at some point require tuition increases, said Mone. The question then becomes: what is a “reasonable tuition increase,” he added.
According to Mone, “reasonable” does not resemble the tuition increases seen in response to past budget reductions. These hikes have seen tuition going up by eight or nine percent, and in some cases percentages in the double digits, Mone said.
Mone clarified that the tuition task force has not begun to make recommendations about possible tuition increases.