Citing dropping enrollment and another looming $15 million budget cut, Chancellor Mark Mone told the university community that UW-Milwaukee is trying to make up the difference by recruiting more students from Illinois and overseas.
The latter students will see a hike in tuition.
Mone spoke to a half-full Zelazo Center during his spring 2017 Plenary about concerns over UW-Milwaukee’s upcoming biannual budget for 2017 to 2019, along with his hopes for lessening the debt and growing UWM as a whole. Faculty, students and staff all gathered for the large staff meeting on Jan. 26, where Mone discussed multiple on-going concerns within the university and the UW-System about diminishing enrollment numbers and the budget cuts.
“We simply don’t have a choice, but we have to really manage the budget expenses with the revenues that are available,” said Mone in concerns to the upcoming budget cuts.
Mone told the audience there are a lot of factors that play into the issues with the budget, including the decrease in enrollment numbers, which was down 4.1 percent from the 2015-2016 school year. The four percent decrease has an impact on the budget by reducing the revenue of the university by $8 million.
“It’s disappointing that our enrollment is down, but that’s what you’re seeing across the UW System,” said Kelly Jeglum, a network engineer who has been attending the chancellor’s plenaries since 1992.
In the current budget, in addition to the $40 million that has already been cut from the budget, Mone plans to cut another $15 million by the end of the year.
Gov. Scott Walker will be releasing the proposed state budget on Feb. 8, 2017 The UW System Board of Regents’ actionsincluded, limited tuition increases for out-of-state students who are not part of the Midwest Exchange Program, and included compensation increase proposals.The tuition for out-of-state students, except those who are part of the Midwest Exchange Program, will go up two percent in the upcoming years. Mone expressed that a lot of the recruiting of students is now being focused on bringing in students from Illinois and international students
By bringing in these two groups, Chancellor Mone hopes to bring the enrollment rates up along with bringing up the revenue that these students generate for the university.
“The last budget was a disaster for the university, but the next one we’re hoping is less of a disaster,” said Nick Fleisher, an associate professor in Linguistics.
One thingMone failed acknowledge in his address was the controversy that involved him and a transgender student who told him to “GO F-CK YOUSELF” after controversial speaker Milo Yiannopoulos displayed the student’s picture and said rude comments about the student. The student, Adelaide Karen Kramer, has spoken out in the past after she was restricted to use the women’s locker room at Klotsche.
Mone did announce that he did want more diversity and inclusion, but not for the sake of the students, but it would be “really in the employment side of things.”
Besids the review of the budget and the inclusion of faculty, Mone spoke frequently about the opportunities that students who attend UWM have, including international and domestic internships and the number of partnerships the university has with Wisconsin businesses.
“These are companies and these are organizations that say we need more of what UWM is giving us,” said Mone. “It’s gonna make a bigger difference.”
Mone also touched on UWM’s multiple accomplishments and goals, including becoming an R-1 research institute and said the university is more than halfway to its goal of 60,000 volunteer hours this year in honor of the 60th Anniversary of UWM.
Fleisher askedMone during the Q & A session if there will be any issues for international students since President Trump’s immigration announcement. Chancellor Mone answered the question that during the Faculty Senate meeting that was to follow the plenary, there would be some addressment of what staff can do to help students who may be undocumented or international students here on visa.
There have been training sessions for faculty about how to help students who may be faced with fear of deportation or family deportation, and there will be more, according to Chancellor Mone. The Student Association will also be scheduling additional trainings in the future.
Mone concluded his speech by focusing on the student successes that have happened due to the connections with companies in the area, such as Rockwell Automation, stressing that these connections make UWM important in fueling the “talent pipeline.”
“Nothing on this campus, nothing in this community that’s important happens without you,” said Mone in regards to the staff and faculty as he closed his speech for the Spring 2017 plenary.