Eau Claire (WQOW) -- On Wednesday people across the state protested the decades of budget cuts to the University of Wisconsin system. They want to reclaim the UW.
At UW-Eau Claire, students, faculty, alumni and community members gathered to discuss how those cuts have impacted life on campus.
Professor Peter Hart-Brinson, the president of the United Faculty and Academic Staff at UWEC, told News 18 faculty morale is at a breaking point as class sizes and work loads increase, but salaries stay the same.
"Faculty and staff are frustrated because they feel like they can't do their job as well as they know that they should, and know that they could, if they had more support," he said. "It's also hurtful for faculty and staff morale when our elected officials openly demean the value of public education. This is not just K-12 education, it's higher education as well. Many faculty and staff that I talk to just feel unappreciated."
Hart-Brinson also said the administration has done its best to keep the ship afloat with much fewer resources than staff is used to, but it gets harder to do that year after year.
"Revenue for the UW system has been frozen for about six years. We support the tuition freeze, because we know how much students are having to invest of their own money and their family's own money into their own education, but when tuition is frozen and revenue from the state is frozen, we have to make cuts," he said.
"So, we would like to see the tuition freeze funded by the state government," Hart-Brinson told News 18. "We need additional funding to lower our class sizes, to increase educational quality and to ensure that a UW-Eau Claire degree has the same value for the next generation as it did for the previous generation."