2004 audit of the University of Wisconsin System by the Legislative Audit Bureau

October 6, 2004

Presented to the Joint Legislative Audit Bureau Hearing, Madison, WI

By Richard H. Wells, Chancellor, UW Oshkosh

The UW System and its institutions have the lowest institutional support expenditures in the nation.

How does it keep its institutional support costs at 6%, well below the national average of 10.2%? Let’s look at some UW Oshkosh examples.

Administrative Positions Eliminated/Not Added and Critical Duties Reassigned

  • Executive Assistant to the Chancellor – Eliminated in 2002-2003 [Coordinator of Public Access to Information, News Media Relations/Publications, and Policy and Planning Analyses]
  • Associate Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Planning and Management  -- Not Added in 2002-2003 [Coordinator and Supervisor of staff in the Admissions, Registrar, and Student Advisement Offices]
  • Controller [Chief accountant and Cash manager] – Eliminated in 2003-2004

UW Oshkosh Individuals who at 10,000 feet appear to be Administrators

  • Director of Head Start, Sally Wilke [Federally Funded position] Administrator of one of the nation’s largest campus-based child and development programs, serving 609 children and their families at 11 sites, located in 8 communities in a four-county area. She oversees an FTE staff of 93 and monitors a budget of $3.8 million. 
  • Program Assistant, Jane M. Kramer [GPR Funded secretarial/clerical position] Lead program assistant in the department of English [45 faculty and staff that serves 6,000 students with 250 classes each year].  She schedules classes, assigns more than 400 majors, minors and graduate students to advisers, maintains records of the department and its committees, and tracks the budget.

  • Associate Director of Residence Life, Tom Fojtik [Residential Life Program Revenue Funded position] Serves 3200 students in 11 buildings, oversees $9 million budget, purchasing, room assignments, technology & information management, facilities & custodial operations as well as overall management of "front office" operation.

UW Oshkosh Examples of Increased Efficiencies, Effectiveness & Productivity

  • Reuse of 200 light poles = a $300,000 replacement savings & annual reduction of energy costs, 
  • Reduced water consumption by 24.5 million gallons/year = $130,986 savings,
  • Reduced energy consumption by 563,017 kilowatt hours = $27,600/year savings.
  • Renovated Halsey Science Center for $17 million versus replacement cost of $40 million = savings of $23 million,
  • Renovating Taylor Hall, a 500 bed Residence Hall, for $13 million versus replacement cost of $30 million = savings of $17 million,
  • Recipient of 2003 EPA Leadership Award – one of only 11 ever presented to a university by the EPA.

    For 2000-2004:

  • Grants increased from $4.6 to $10.6 million, up 130%,
  • Foundation Gifts and pledges increased from $1.7 to $3.9 million, up 129%,
  • Headcount enrollment increased by 2.3% (246) to more than 11,000 students,
  • Student FTE increased by 6.7% (598) – the equivalent of adding a small college at UW Oshkosh,
  • Degrees conferred increased from 1712 to 1935, up 13%.


I am proud of our faculty and staff for taking on extra duties without additional compensation to improve our efficiency, effectiveness and productivity in response to historic budget cuts. We cannot continue, however, to meet the needs of Wisconsin citizens and to increase our productiveness without expanded state support. Investing in public higher education that is dramatically increasing in value makes good public policy and excellent business practice. Now’s the time to buy because the return on investment has never been higher. BUY NOW!

Audit Home