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Updated: Cuts across the UW System

by Jason Lee, WISCAPE Outreach Programs Manager | Oct 21, 2015

Rhianna Miles and Kari Dickinson also contributed to this post.

This update includes new information about cuts at UW-Madison and UW System Administration, as well as more details ​on other UW System campuses. For example, UW-Stevens Point announced last week that 76.5 full-time equivalent jobs have been or will be eliminated.

It’s been a tough year for the UW System. The governor signed the 2015-17 state budget on July12th. The final budget included the removal of tenure protections and a significant erosion of campus governance from state statute. It also added new provisions for laying-off faculty to state law. And of course, the UW’s budget was reduced by $250 million, with a tuition freeze for resident students remaining in effect.

Below is our most recent attempt to keep track of how these cuts play out across the UW System. President Cross thanked the legislature and governor for reducing the cut by $50 million and then determined how the cuts were shared across the 26 campuses. These cuts, like any, have real-life implications for many employees as well as for recruiting and retaining faculty and staff. Additionally, and most importantly, we don't exactly know what effects these reductions will have on students. However, as some media have reported, the number of jobs available to students will also decrease.

Our focus here is mainly on job cuts. Programmatic cuts and changes are also occurring. Additionally, this post is not all-inclusive of re-organizing efforts underway within many campuses, nor does it address attempts to increase revenues through tuition or other means.

This is a work in progress, based mostly on media reports and campus communications. Most campuses have not announced all of their reductions, so we will update this entry as new information emerges. Please contact Jason Lee if you have updated information.

The UW System has seen reductions in several recent state biennial budgets. This time around, most campuses are talking about reducing the number of employees to deal with the cuts -- either through early retirement, buyouts, layoffs, or not filling vacancies. Though campuses generally downplay any correlation staff reductions have on reduced student services or classes, is it reasonable to expect that the elimination of staff well into the hundreds will not affect students? 

Note on UW-Madison: To date, UW-Madison has not released a comprehensive account of cuts to personnel or programs. The data used to compile our analysis of the Madison campus comes from 32 individual budget reports from divisions across campus. These reports were provided by UW-Madison following requests from the Associated Students of Madison. UW-Madison University Communications also provided WISCAPE with these documents. Please review the WISCAPE overview and details of cuts.

​Updated ​October 21, 2015 -- Click image below for .pdf file, including links. 
UW System cuts
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  1. nameless
    It's very sad & painful to watch what so many have worked so hard to build--something that has served students & our state so well--being destroyed.

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