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

Berge, John
Keeping in touch with Wisconsin,   p. 7

Page 7

keeping in touch with WISCONSIN
JOHN BERGE, Executive Director
Budget Progress Report
       Note: This is a "last- minute" report,, written be-
    yond normal deadline, on the progress of the. Uni-
    versity's proposed 1955-57 budget. The Alumnus
    will continue to keep its readers informed on devel-
    opments during the months ahead.
T HE UNIVERSITY has come through its first budget test
    at the Capitol in relatively good shape.
  Governor Walter Kohler, in submitting his recommenda-
  tions to the Legislature, put the University share of his execu-
  tive budget-that financed by tax funds-at $31,135,395.
                       And although the University had re-
quested 831,774,838 from tax funds
for operation during the next bien-
nium, the facts show that Governor
and  University were not very far
apart at all.
   Much of this variance of $639,000,
in fact, is in two areas where separate
Legislative action may be a factor-
those involving contributory life in-
    Gov. Kohler       surance and an enlarged Milwaukee
  Here's the breakdown on various items adjusted by the
Governor (all figures exclude hospital operation):
  1. The University requested an additional $226,000 for
expansion at Milwaukee. The Governor suggested that this
item could not logically be decided until the Legislature acts
upon the proposed merger of institutions in Milwaukee.
  2. The University requested $194,000 for a faculty life
insurance program. Since such a grant would almost certainly
bring similar requests from other state agencies, the Gov-
ernor thought the Legislature should consider the overall situ-
ation in state departments. Such a study is now being made.
  3. The rest of the adjustments were minor, involving some
  readjustment in salaries and supplies, a bookkeeping change,
  and a reduction in "fluid" (no strings attached) research funds
  requested. Balancing these reductions to some degree was the
  governor's own addition of $130,000 for 4-H work.
  None of the items mentioned above has been completely
  "lost," either. With- the Governor's approval, they will all
  presented to the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance.
  That, by the way, is the next hurdle for the UW budget.
  i Yet, while none of the University budget is lost, neither
  is any of it won. The University's position must be consid-
  ered in relation to over-all state spending, and, perhaps more
  important, state revenues.
  The Governor indicated that the State must raise about
S58,000,000 more during the next two years than it is doing
in 1953-55, if the Legislature stands by his recommendations.
That, of course, would require something none of us likes
to think much about: an increase in taxes.
  So the manner in which the Legislature resolves this finan-
cial problem will have its effect on the University.
  The University has built a "from-the-bottom-up" budget for
this next biennium. It maintains it has kept its requests at
a minimum (and the Governor evidently agrees, generally.)
   The University, for example, might have asked for more
money to handle the increased enrollments sure to come. How-
ever, it is certain that the cost-per-student of instruction on
the campus will come douwn from its present figures. (In this
connection, it might be noted that the student himself, through
his fees, will be paying a greater share of the cost of his edu-
cation-even with retention of the present $180 annual resi-
dent fees.)
   Again, tha University might have requested more than the
 six percent salary increase it asked for. Other Big Ten insti-
 tutions are seeking increases ranging from eight to 21 per
 cent-and Wisconsin's faculty is not now the best-paid by
 any means.
   It is interesting, by the way, that the University budget,
 as seen both by UW administrators and the Governor, rep-
 resents a major reversal of policy in regard to Extension Cen-
 ters. Higher Extension Center enrollments in the past couple
 of years indicate that more people want their children to attend
 college near their home communities. So the 1955-57 budget
 provides not only for increasing enrollments at the Centers,
 but for more extensive programs at these UW branches.
   One thing seems sure. The efforts of Prof. William H.
 Young, special budgetary assistant to President Fred, in build-
 ing a budget that can be presented in fairly understandable
 terms, deserve special commendation.
                 BUDGET SUMMARIES
                 (Excluding UW Hospitals)
       UW Operational Request ---------------$31,774,838
       Governor's Recommendation ------------ 31,135,395
                     Areas of Reductions
       Milwaukee Expansion -----------------$  226,000
       Faculty Life Insurance ----------------- 194,000
       "Fluid" Research Funds ----------------  68,000
       Civil Service Salary (Overbudgeting)    170,000
       Leave Adjustments --------------------   36,000
       Supplies ----------------------------    75,000
                                           $   769,000
       Ag. Extension (4-H Club Work) ---------$ 130,000

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