FULL EXPLANATION NEEDED
Veteran Wisconsin State Senator Fred Risser, about as strong an advocate for the University of Wisconsin as you’ll find in state government, issued a statement Monday regarding the news of a strikingly big UW System reserve. It reads as follows: The Legislative Fiscal Bureau report that the UW System ended (fiscal year) 2012 with a 650-Million dollar balance, 414-Million of which is from tuition payments, is troublesome and I want to find out more about it. The public is entitled to a full explanation as are the students, staff and faculty at the University.
Yes, we are. And that short statement says it all. We certainly understand the importance of a reserve, a safety net if you will. That’s fiscal responsibility. But more than 400-Million dollars in tuition money is hard for us to accept, when we’ve been defending tuition increase to ensure the quality of our university and colleges. We’ll likely support some of the projects and expenses the reserve is intended to fund. But we too would very much like a complete explanation of how this happened, and why we’re just finding out about it now.