UWEC, UW-Stout respond to governor's budget - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UWEC, UW-Stout respond to governor's budget

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Eau Claire (Press Release) - The following is a statement from UW-Eau Claire Interim Chancellor Gilles Bousquet regarding Gov. Scott Walker's proposed 2013-15 biennial state budget, which calls for more than $181 million in new taxpayer investments in the UW System.

"Governor Walker's budget provides meaningful reinvestment in the UW System, especially in terms of expanding talent and economic development efforts. As a liberal arts-based institution, UW-Eau Claire plays a key role in today's talent development and tomorrow's job creation.

"UW-Eau Claire is committed to working with our higher education, economic development and business partners in western Wisconsin and beyond to provide graduates with the skills necessary to succeed in today's highly interconnected and constantly changing world.

"At UW-Eau Claire, we are exploring ways to expand and enhance our current talent and economic development efforts through closer collaboration with our community, the region and state.In fact, today we are hosting on campus a gathering of a core group of higher education, business and economic development executives to brainstorm new ways we can coordinate resources and expertise to identify existing and emerging skills gaps and take action to address them.

"After a decade of budget cuts, I am delighted that the state's reinvestment in higher education will help us keep higher education affordable in Wisconsin.

"I also am extremely appreciative that the Governor's budget provides language to grant the UW System Board of Regents flexibility, including the authority to establish compensation plans for UW employees, which remains one of our highest priorities. I am impressed on a daily basis by the extraordinary work that our faculty and staff do with our students.

"UW-Eau Claire looks forward to joining UW System in working with state legislators from both parties to advance Gov. Walker's budget. I want to thank our local legislators for their strong and continuing support of UW-Eau Claire, and I look forward to together positioning western Wisconsin for economic growth and prosperity."

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Menomonie (UW-Stout Press Release) - The new state budget proposed Wednesday night by Gov. Scott Walker is an improvement over the current document, but important details still aren't know about one crucial area, University of Wisconsin-Stout Chancellor Charles W. Sorensen said today.

"It is obvious that this budget is much more favorable to the UW System than the 2011-13 budget, which imposed $315 million in cuts for the system over two years," Sorensen said. Walker has said his proposal includes about $181 million in additional spending in all areas for the UW System.

Sorensen said the governor still hasn't released details of his plan to increase the wages of state employees, including UW System faculty and staff.

"My top priority for 2013-15 remains securing adequate compensation for our faculty and staff, given that we have gone over four years without a pay raise and had to endure furloughs and higher health care and retirement costs," Sorensen said. "The true value of this budget for UW-Stout and the rest of the UW System will not be known until we see the details of what the governor is proposing for wage adjustments."

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