State Relations

Take Action for the UW

On May 25th, the Joint Finance Committee (JFC) voted on the UW System budget. The budget will now go through the Legislature for approval and modification, before being signed by the Governor. Included in JFC’s budget is the following:

  • $5 million in fiscal year 2017–18 to the UW System for an innovation fund to increase enrollments in high demand programs
  • $26.25 million in fiscal year 2017–18 to the UW System for performance metrics funding in areas related to student access, student progress and completion, contributions to the workforce, and operational efficiency and effectiveness
  • $1.5 million annually to UW–Madison for the Tommy G. Thompson Center for Public Leadership
  • $490 thousand annually to the UW Carbone Cancer Center to expand its precision medicine program
  • $100 thousand annually to the School of Medicine and Public Health for the rural physicians residency assistance program
  • $50 thousand annually to UW–Madison for Alzheimer’s research
  • $10 thousand to the UW System in fiscal year 2017–18 to review and revise policies related to academic freedom

In addition, the committee took the following action:

  • Removed the proposed 5% tuition reduction and instead continued to freeze resident undergraduate tuition for the next two years
  • Deleted the requirement that there be a new Flex Option program geared toward assisting CNAs in becoming registered nurses
  • Required the Regents to revise student segregated fee policies so that classification of fees as allocable or non-allocable is consistent across all campuses
  • Expanded eligibility for tuition and fee remissions for children and spouses of deceased or disabled veterans
  • Exempted certain members of the Wisconsin National Guard or reserves from nonresident tuition
  • Required the UW System to contract with an independent accounting firm to conduct an annual financial audit in both years of the next biennium, rather than having the Legislative Audit Bureau perform such an audit
  • Prohibited the Regents from adopting any policy or promulgating any rule that requires the Board to only consider for appointment as president of the UW System or chancellor or vice chancellor of an institution those eligible to be granted tenure

Take Action

The Wisconsin legislature is on track to vote on the 2017-19 budget by the end of June. The Joint Finance Committee passed its version of the budget in late May, which continues support for the University of Wisconsin and freezes tuition for another two years. Tell the legislature to pass the budget and reinvest in the university!

JFC has not yet voted on the Capital Budget. UW-Madison encourages the Wisconsin legislature to support the following campus priorities when the Capital Budget is in the chambers:

  • Authorize two building projects funded with program revenue that UW–Madison requested. Two projects for which UW–Madison has already secured funding were not authorized in the Capital Budget. Both will cost the state nothing and delays will add to the total cost of the projects.
    • Construction of the Lot 62 ramp – This project is a key piece to the expansion of the School of Veterinary Medicine, which serves farmers and pet owners from across the state and provides free consultations to veterinarians in every county. If the parking lot project is delayed two years, it will become more difficult for the School of Veterinary Medicine to raise private funds for the expansion.
    • Renovation of Slichter Residence Hall – Built in 1946, Slichter needs upgrades for mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems — as well as a new fire protection and smoke detection systems. This project has already been delayed by several years, leading to cost escalation of $2 million so far.

More information will be available throughout the state budget process at

Investments in students, faculty, and facilities are what make a great university a world-class university. As governor two decades ago, I proudly invested in knowledge and research—and the return on that investment continues across campus.Governor Tommy Thompson

At a Crossroads

For more than 160 years, the state of Wisconsin and its flagship university have worked together to improve life for all Wisconsinites.

The Wisconsin Idea is alive and well, but it still needs your support. Facing declining state funds and rising educational costs, UW—Madison is at a crossroads. While the state once contributed more than 40% of our budget, today it provides just 15%. We have relentlessly pursued costs savings and efficiencies across campus, from facilities to administration to IT to personnel. But it’s not enough. In order to continue providing a world-class education for Wisconsin families, we need a reinvestment from the state.

The state’s generous support of the university built a world-renowned institution with a global footprint right in our own backyard. For the future students across this state — and for the future of this state — reinvest in UW.

Learn More

University Basics

A crash course on the issues.

UW 2017 Budget Talking Points

Talking points on how to support UW-Madison during the 2017 budget cycle. Learn more at

The UW Budget in Brief

Revenue and how it’s distributed.

Learn more about lifesaving research and the use of fetal tissue

Research using fetal tissue contributes to the fight against a long list of illnesses, including asthma, birth defects, cancer, heart failure, and Alzheimer’s disease.

For questions or more information, contact Mike Fahey at 608-308-5110.

Federal Relations

Federal Relations

Since first receiving a land grant to greatly expand the university in 1862 under Abraham Lincoln’s administration, UW–Madison has relied on a strong relationship with the federal government to cultivate excellence in the state. Arguably the most vital parts of this relationship, to the university and our society, are investments in research, and in students through financial aid. Thirty-one percent of UW’s budget is from the federal government, and most of this is competitively awarded to the school for research.

On May 23rd, President Trump delivered his budget address to Congress. The proposed budget, which cuts spending from many different areas, was met with apprehension from Congress. Student aid and university research are among the targeted cuts that would affect UW–Madison.

In response to some of the budget’s many changes, our request to Congress is to…

Protect Federally Funded Research — UW–Madison is a premier research institution, ranking in the top six in total research dollars among all US universities. We use our research activities to educate students who will become the next generation’s scientists, teachers, and leaders in government an industry. UW has a proud tradition of ground-breaking research. In the past year alone, UW made discoveries that are moving us closer to a cure for Alzheimer’s disease and led the world in building our arsenal against viruses like Zika and Ebola. Continued federal investment in university research and development is what will fuel new discoveries that impact generations to come. We ask the federal government to continue to support funding for scientific research. More information on research and the budget.

To ensure growth and scientific development, the university constantly needs bright new minds working on this research. Affordability is key to helping disadvantaged students access all that UW has to offer. UW–Madison students receive various type of financial aid, including government and private loans, scholarships, and grants. Financial aid affects 36 percent of current UW–Madison students. The budget proposed by President Trump cuts funding for Federal Work-Study program in half, and eliminates completely the Perkins Loan Program, directly cutting funding to 3,265 students with financial need. To maintain access for all, we ask that Congress…

Extend the Perkins Loan Program — This program is allowed to expire on September 30, 2017. This would eliminate a source of low-interest campus-based loans for high-need students. Nationally, over 500,000 students depend on Perkins, including over 3,500 at UW–Madison. The federal government has not contributed to Perkins in over a decade; the program is self-funding. Madison Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) has introduced bipartisan legislation to continue the Perkins extension for another two years. We urge Congress to support this extension to help the neediest of students. More information on the Perkins Loan Program.

Tell Congress to support research and student aid

As Congress now revises the President’s budget proposal, encourage your representatives to support the UW and students across the nation. Research funding and financial aid are at stake and we need your help to reinvest in education.

Stay informed

Stay Informed

Recent News

Stay up-to-date on the issues facing the UW. Below you’ll find recent articles and reports from the press and the university.