MADISON, Wis. -

The University of Wisconsin-Madison says it spent nearly $24 million in its latest fiscal year to persuade about 200 faculty members not to leave after other universities ramped up their efforts to lure professors away in the wake of budget cuts and tenure changes.

But an annual report released Friday also says that despite those efforts, 34 professors left UW-Madison for other universities during the 2016 fiscal year -- a substantial increase over other recent years.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that officials say the surge of outside interest in UW-Madison professors illustrates how a $250 million cut to higher education funding in the 2015-17 state budget, coupled with a move by lawmakers to weaken tenure protections, have affected the university's standing in the highly competitive academic job market.