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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 8, 2002

Contact: Erik Christianson
(608) 262-5061
echristianson@uwsa.edu

Friday Remarks to the Board of Regents
by Jay L. Smith, Board of Regents President

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday (March 8) suspended any further undergraduate admissions. The following are prepared comments from UW System Board of Regents President Jay L. Smith.

  • As we indicated yesterday, the additional cuts to our GPR base and the cap on tuition imposed by the Joint Finance Committee have put us in a very difficult and complex position. It puts us in the hole for an additional $20 million for FY '02-'03. These cuts also put at risk some $58 million in matching money that private sources and companies have put up to fund our economic stimulus package.
  • Yesterday we reported to you that the Joint Finance Committee's additional base cuts to the university would be about $8 million. We learned late yesterday that those cuts are $10.3 million - two million more than we thought.
  • I mentioned yesterday that the university represents 37.5% of state operations, but under the governor's proposal would take almost 50% of the dollars cut from state operations in the second year of the biennium (2002-03). We agreed that we could manage this.
  • It's been our hope all along that with the economic climate improving, the legislature could actually restore some of the Governor's cuts -- so the Joint Finance cuts are even more discouraging.
  • Over the past 24 hours, we have consulted with the Regents and the Chancellors, and we feel that our budget situation is too uncertain at this time to insure that we can accommodate all the students who want to enroll in the UW System next fall.
  • Therefore, effective this morning, I have asked the President to suspend ALL undergraduate admissions to the University of Wisconsin System, starting tomorrow (March 9) until further notice.
  • It is my hope that this admissions freeze is a temporary one and can be lifted in the near future.
  • We must operate like a business. We can't enroll students if we don't have the GPR to pay for them.
  • As Regents, it is our ultimate responsibility to maintain the integrity and quality of the UW System.
  • These additional cuts leave us with no other choice but to suspend enrollments, until we more fully understand the impact these cuts will have on our universities.
  • We realize the impact this has on the lives of our applicants and their families, and we apologize for the inconvenience.
  • But we have no other choice.

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