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UW System approves budgets for new initiatives

The U-W Board of Regents endorsed late last week the budget requests sought by university administrators for the next two years.

That includes a $187 million building program, and $21 million for new initiatives, which senior vice president Michael Morgan called modest, considering the economic growth over the last two years. The budgets now go to the Walker administration, for possible inclusion in the next state budget that the governor will propose to the Legislature next February.

Some of the new university funding would go toward the UW's proposed flexible-degree initiative, in which students can take Internet courses and put life experiences toward their degrees. The Regents endorsed funding for a new dual-enrollment program, in which students can take some of their UW courses in high school.

Regent John Drew cast the only no vote against the spending plan. He said it should have included pay raises for faculty and staff members - but System President Kevin Reilly said it would come sometime soon.

The capital plan includes new buildings on the Madison, Stevens Point, and La Crosse campuses.