UW System President Kevin Reilly on Capitol City Sunday - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW System President Kevin Reilly on Capitol City Sunday

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MADISON (WKOW) -- It was a rough week for UW System President Kevin Reilly, after state lawmakers chewed him out for raising tuition on students while putting hundreds of millions of dollars in reserve. 

Reilly is the featured guest on Capitol City Sunday this weekend and says the surplus, which sits at $648 million dollars, is relative.

"When you look at our tuition, compared to our peers, its still relatively low and our quality is still very, very high," said Reilly.

But Reilly says he is aware that people are upset about the soaring costs of tuition and he wants to help.

"We've proposed, for instance, to put $30 million in the financial aid fund to help buy down the waiting list in financial aid," said Reilly.

That is even if the legislature demands a tuition freeze for the next two years, which appears likely.  But, Reilly says another suggestion to stop any funding of the UW System in the next budget cycle is short-sighted.

"When I would say, 'OK we've got to cancel these classes, we've got to layoff faculty,' people would say, 'that's really bad management, why didn't you have reserves,'" said Reilly. 

"The University serves all of us," said Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), who is on the second segment of the show this weekend.  "And if what we're really trying to do is fix the University, punishing it doesn't seem like a real effective way to help it serve students in the communities that it serves."

Along with a discussion about the UW surplus, Sen. Schultz talks about his 2014 primary challenge from Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green).

"Nothing surprises me, even a legislator who's barely three months into his second term deciding he'd rather run in a primary election against me rather than work on the state budget," said Schultz.

Capitol City Sunday airs at 9:00 a.m. on WKOW 27.

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