Statement on governor’s State of State speech

Chancellor Bob Meyer issued the following statement after Gov. Scott Walker’s State of the State speech Tuesday, Jan. 10:

Like the governor, I too am concerned about ensuring that everyone who wants a college education has the means to obtain one. I will be interested in hearing the details about the governor’s proposal to cut tuition costs.

I certainly hope, however, that the governor plans to both fully fund his plan to cut tuition and to restore at least part of the budget cut we received in 2015-17. We are still working our way through that cut, which amounted to $5.3 million a year, without reducing educational quality. It’s been a very challenging task.

Another critical need is state support for salary increases for our employees. In the last six years, UW employees have received 1 percent pay increases in only two years, while university employees in other states have received, on average, increases between 1.4 percent and 2.3 percent each year. Our faculty salaries are now 21 percent behind those in our peer group, and we are experiencing record turnover rates.

I believe we have reached a critical period in the history of the UW System. We hope to work with the governor and the Legislature to ensure a bright future for UW-Stout and the entire UW System.