Proposed Budget Cuts Spark Conversation

With Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget cuts of $300 million looming over our heads, we need to prepare for devastating blows to the University of Wisconsin System and to UW-Stevens Point.

Students have received emails from administration and SGA President Chris Slattery explaining the proposed cuts and how we can inform ourselves about the issues. Students and community members should use such opportunities to meet with administration and SGA to share ideas.

When Chancellor Bernie Patterson spoke to SGA Senate on Thursday, Jan. 29, he asked what at UWSP needs to be saved.

The answers were overwhelmingly in favor of supporting academics and services that help students succeed. Many SGA members supported anything that directly impacts students and encouraged Chancellor Patterson to consider outsourcing jobs like payroll and health services.

During said meeting, I had to ask if administrators would consider a pay cut to save faculty and staff positions because they directly work with students.

The chancellor’s response was the same as nearly all questions regarding cuts or postponements. “Everything is on the table,” he said.

While I doubt that cutting administration pay will actually occur in place of laying off faculty, cuts such as these should be considered.

Already considered options are postponing sabbaticals, which cost between $150,000 and 200,000 annually according to Provost Greg Summers,  and eliminating First-Year Seminar courses. Such actions, however, would replace only a small portion of the budget.

Students need to visit SGA and write to administration and The Pointer to share thoughts on what needs to be preserved on campus, and we must remember that any budget cut will impact our lives as students as well as the community.


Grace Ebert


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