Thursday, October 22, 2009

UW College Libraries Face $500,000 Budget Reduction

UW-Sheboygan Library
2009 WLA Library of the Year

From what I was able to gather, the UW Colleges developed a structural deficit during that past 4 or so years. This was strictly the result of missing tuition targets.


Until this year, the difference had been made up, as I understand it, by shifting funds from the UW System and/or UW Extension budgets.

How the process to address the structural deficit got underway. In January 2009, Chancellor David Wilson formed a joint Budget Planning Committee (BPC) for UW Colleges and UW‐Extension. This group recommended the further formation of a separate committees for each institution, which would recommend the specific details of how each campus should respond to required budget reductions. .

The recommendations of this committee are found at

The rationale for UW Colleges Libraries reorganization is found at page 7.

A summary of target reductions ($3,690,000) is found on page 13.

One of the givens in this process is a recommendation is to preserve the current levels of enrollment and tuition at the UW Colleges, which is explained on page 8. In other words, they don't want to lay off faculty and eliminate courses if the impact will be a further reduction in revenue.

There is, perhaps, one silver lining in this process. UW Colleges have experienced record enrollment this fall.

The UW Colleges administration, however, does not want to assume that this growth is going to be its continuing business model. What it does do, however, is give Chancellor David Wilson some breathing room; it takes the pressure off his making an immediate decision.

The Chancellor met with a group of UW Colleges librarians on October 9 in Fond du Lac.

At its October 20th meeting, the Wisconsin Library Association Board of Director voted to endorse the following statement.

In light of record levels of enrollment at UW Colleges and the important role that librarians play in supporting student learning at these institutions, WLA strongly supports maintaining UW Colleges’ Libraries at current levels of service.

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