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The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved the UW System's strategic framework, 2020FWD: Moving Wisconsin and the World Forward. UW System President Ray Cross told the board the framework is designed to provide strategic direction for the UW System in four key areas: the educational pipeline, the university experience, business and community mobilization, and operational excellence. The initiatives will help keep college affordable for Wisconsin families, develop the workforce the state will need in the future, reinvigorate the state's economy, and enhance the lives of the people of Wisconsin.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford said the 2020FWD strategic framework is "the result of thoughtful and inclusive dialogue from around the state. I appreciate the breadth of 2020FWD as it encompasses the strengths of all of the UW campuses and meets the needs of our state."
Cross introduced the framework after a year-long development process, which included gathering input from the public and university community through listening sessions and surveys, including those at UW-Parkside, involving a variety of stakeholder and expert groups. In all, nearly 5,000 people participated.
The Board of Regents also approved the 2017-19 biennial budget request presented by Cross. As part of that request, the UW System is asking for $42.5 million in state general program revenue (GPR) to fund 2020FWD initiatives.
Ford called further investment in the UW System "especially important in southeastern Wisconsin. Bipartisan support for 2020FWD and the proposed biennial budget will strengthen UW-Parkside's role as an education and talent-development leader serving the growing economic vitality of our region."
Like all state agencies, the UW System typically needs cost-to-continue funding for items such as utilities and fringe benefits, which has averaged $88 million over the past six biennia. The UW System will not be asking for cost-to-continue in the upcoming biennia because utilities are expected to stay flat, and fewer staff mean lower fringe benefit costs.
"The UW System's 2017-19 biennial budget request is reasonable and targeted to the state's greatest needs. This includes increasing the number of college graduates ready to enter the workplace in high-demand areas; reducing time-to-graduation to increase affordability for Wisconsin families; and providing services to ensure students have the support and programs they need, whether traditional students or working adults," said Millner.
The UW Board approved Cross's biennial budget proposal and the UW System 2020FWD strategic framework Thursday afternoon. The biennial budget request will be sent to Gov. Scott Walker for consideration as part of the biennial budget package his office will begin preparing this fall.
The strategic framework, along with background materials about the process, is available at wisconsin.edu/2020FWD.