The University of Wisconsin System has made this state proud a lot more than it has embarrassed. And we can’t say the same thing for the state Legislature.
So Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and his legislative colleagues should stop the pot shots at UW System over its high reserves and figure out what’s a reasonable level. Lawmakers also should remember they failed to build up the state’s own reserves before the recession. The state’s rainy day fund sat empty for decades. Having too much money to fall back on during tough times is better than consistently having none.
Vos opened a hearing Tuesday on the System’s $648 million in reserves by insulting top university officials seated before him. “Continually, time after time after time, you have embarrassed the state of Wisconsin,” Vos said.
We won’t list all of the ways state lawmakers have embarrassed Wisconsin, from their secret meetings, nasty campaigns, personal scandals and criminal convictions. But surely that list is many times longer than UW’s foibles.
Are you getting this? Keep it coming….
State leaders and the public deserve more answers on why the university’s reserves … are so high. A big portion of the money comes from tuition, a state audit found. Yet a lot of the tuition surplus is destined for technology purchases, financial aid and other investments in student programs and services, the audit found. About $200 million has no specific destination … many peer universities keep larger financial cushions than UW.
Here’s a point I made awhile back:
Some of the legislative outrage seems feigned, given that reserve amounts have been listed in the university’s public financial statements for years, albeit not in a prominent or simple way.
Let’s turn down the heat and increase the light on the System’s books.
I can’t disagree with anything in this editorial. I wish more Democrats would have stood up for our state college system, instead of again, reacting to the phony Republican outrage and taking their pot shots. Democrats have no agenda and stand up for nothing.