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Lawmakers, UW officials agree that current funding system fails

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - State lawmakers and UW officials agree that the current funding system for the university no longer works -- and they must find ways to keep the quality high, in the face of fewer state dollars and tuition pressures. 

The Board of Regents held a summit Thursday with state legislative leaders, after last spring's report that the UW was sitting on $650 million in reserves while ordering maximum tuition increases year after year. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said he lost trust in the Board of Regents, and it will take a long time to get it back. Assembly Republican Pat Strachota of West Bend said the UW should not expect future increases in state funding, because the state has so many other pressing needs. 

Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said Michigan subsidizes its in-state students by charging out of staters $14,000 more per year than Wisconsin does -- and she wonders why the UW is not, "importing" more dollars from out of state. 

Federal research funds make up 30 percent of the revenues at UW-Madison. Blank told lawmakers not to put that money in jeopardy, by forcing faculty members to teach in classes a lot more.