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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 56, Number 10 (Feb. 15, 1955)

Governor again seeks "coordination",   p. 11


Page 11


UW Budget
Goes to Legislature
rOVERNOR Walter Kohler has recommended, in his
UI biennial budget message to the Legislature, that a state
,appropriation of $3 1,135,395* be made for operation of the
University of Wisconsin during the next two years.
  Since the University had requested $31,774,838 from tax
funds in 195 5-57, the Governor's figures represented a vari-
ance of $639,443 be-tween the two totals.
  The greater part of this resulted from a decrease in the
"basic personal services" section of the budget. This reflected
  a"whittling down" of the so-called growth items requested
by the UnI IIversity. UW Regents had asked for $1,726,840 to
"grow on", including 1. Milwaukee Extension expansion,
2. Faculty contributory life insurance (both of these two are
   *Plus $3,902,564 for University Hospitals operation - about
 $97,000 less than the requested appropriation.
 Governor Again Sei
 G OVERNOR Walter Kohler has again asked the Legisla-
      ture to consider what he- describes as "a coordinated
      higher educational program."
   In his early-January message to the Legislature, the Gov--
 ernor spoke of the magnitude of the problem which will
 be faced by the state at all state institutions of higher learning.
   "Compulsory school attendance laws, the growing desire
 of our young people to obtain an adequate education and
 the desire of their parents to see that they get it, coupled
 with startling increases iin the national birth rate, have com-
 bined to subject our educational system to mounting pressure,"
 he began.
 b"The problems of elementary and secondary education will
   bediscussed in the budget message, but I would like today
   to consider with you the responsibilities of the state and of
   this Legislature in the field of higher education...
   "The problem of meeting this unprecedented demand for
   higher education, in terms of facilities and staff, will pose a
   tremendous financial burden on the state. It is incumbent
   upon each of us, therefore, to prepare the state not only to
   meet this need, but to meet it efficiently, effectively, and eco-
   nomically.
   "The institutions of higher learning have proposed a
   budget for the coming biennium which provides for total
   expenditures of more than $65,000,000, of which nearly
   $49,000,000 would come from general tax revenues. Yet,
   while this constitutes the largest expenditure made for any
   single function of state government, no continuing agency
   exists which is responsible for higher education as a whole,
   or which views the need for higher education in its entirety.
   "As a consequence of this division of responsibility, it is
   impossible to formulate the most intelligent and economical
   methods of providing our young people with post-high school
   education. Costly duplications are permitted, and the whole
   educational program suffers.
   "Under the present, uncoordinated system, for example, th,,
   Board of State College Regents has authorized the creation
FEBRUARY, 1955
of a department of home economics at one of the state col-
leges, to train teachers in this field. Meanwhile, at Menomonie,
involved in major policy changes facing the Legislature),
3. Three per cent salary increases, 4. Some instructional staff
expansion to meet higher enrollments, and 5. An increase
in state-supported research.
   The executive budget appropriation in question constitutes
 somewhat less than one-half of total University income. Ex-
 cluding hospital income, the University estimates that an addi-
 tional $33,789,716 will come in during the biennium from
 student fees, residence halls, athletic board, Memorial Union,
 gifts, grants, sales, etc. This is part of the "revolving budget,"
 which does not require state appropriations-but which does
 require legislative approval.
   Thus the total operational budget of the University for
 the biennimn will probably total about $65,000,000-give or
 take several hundred thousand dollars, depending on, first,
 the reaction of the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance,
 and, second, the wishes of the Legislature itself.
    There is also the further possibility that a resolving of the
 state's higher education "problem" at Milwaukee may cause
 a substantial shift in funds between state college and Univer-
 sity budgets--one way or the other.
Bks "Coordination"
  the state is operating the Stout Institute, which would accom-
  modate 200 additional students in Home Economics, without
  materially increasing either facilities or staff.
    "In Milwaukee, where two state institutions are operated by
  two different boards of regents, the construction of duplicate
  facilities for instruction in science has been proposed. Both in-
  stitutions, moreover, are proceeding with plans to provide
  Milwaukee young people with four year liberal arts educa-
  tion. Yet neither, singly, can hope to provide the quality and
  variety of education which would be possible were they
  operated as a single institution.
    "These facts lead to the inescapable conclusion that coor-
  dination of our higher educational system is essential if we
  are to provide for a rapidly expanding number of young
  people the best possible education at the lowest possible cost
  to the state, and to their parents.
     "This, as a matter of fact, is precisely the conclusion which
  has been reached by every competent agency which has ever
  studied the problem and found the courage to propose a solu-
  tion. . ..
     "There is virtually no disagreement on the fundamental
  principle that higher educational institutions in Wisconsin
  should be coordinated under a single board. It is generally
  agreed that such coordination is essential to meet the urgent
  needs at the lowest cost. The only disagreement concerns
  details.
     "In view of the fact that coordination under a single board
  is so universally regarded as necessary, and in view of the
  anticipated need for increased facilities, and the certainty of
  progressively increasing higher educational budgets, such a co-
  ordinated higher educational program is essential to bring the
  greatest educational benefits to Wisconsin's citizens at the
  lowest possible cost. . ..
     "During the next few weeks, I propose to meet with the
   members of the existing boards of regents to attempt to work
   out a bill which will provide such a coordinated system. Cer-
   tainly men of intelligence and good will, with the interests of
   future generations at heart, can devise a measure which will
   meet a need so widely regarded as essential."
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