The head of the University of Wisconsin System says all but three campuses will be running a deficit by the end of the next school year if the university doesn’t get more money.
President Jay Rothman told reporters on Thursday that a new report shows every campus but UW-Madison, UW-Stout, and UW-La Crosse will lose next year.
“We are at the bottom for public funding, nationally,” Rothman said. “If we can’t fulfill our potential then all Wisconsinistes will suffer.”
The fiscal forecast from the university shows 10 campuses will be spending more than they take in by the end of the next school year, The gaps range from an $18 million deficit at UW-Milwaukee to a $400 deficit at UW-Superior.
UW-Madison, according to the report, will finish the 2023-2024 school year $2.8 million in the black. UW-La Crosse will be up $1.1 million, and UW-Stout will end the year $283,000 ahead.
In all, Rothman said, the UW System will see a $60 million deficit next year without new money.
“At the end of the day, you never cut your way to success. You just can’t do that,” Rothman said. “So I remain hopeful that we can find other avenues, while still being good financial stewards and looking at the expense line, and cut where we can, and be efficient about it. But we also need to get that further investment
Rothman continues to push lawmakers for more money for the UW System.
Regents already raised tuition for next year, and Rothman has asked lawmakers for an 8% increase in the next state budget.
“We have to move ourselves up. If we’re going to be successful in winning the war for talent, we want them to remain accessible and affordable to students and prospective students,” he said, “but we need the state to participate with us as well.”
Rothman didn’t rule out closing some campuses if things don’t turn around.