Wisconsin’s public universities experienced the third-largest budget cuts in the country this year, according to an annual survey of higher-education funding. These cuts, along with those to K-12 education, the highest per pupil cuts in the nation, will undermine the state's economy and its people's prosperity for years to come.
Public funding for Wisconsin’s public universities dropped 20.9% from $1.46 billion to $1.15 billion, according to the annual Grapevine study, conducted by Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Higher Education and the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
Nationally, higher education budgets were trimmed 7.6%. New Hampshire had the largest cut, with a funding reduction of 41.3%. Arizona’s cut ranked second at 25.1% and Wisconsin at 20.9% was third.
The Grapevine figures include the $250 million budget cut for the UW System over two years that was part of the state budget approved last year. It does not include an additional $46.1 million cut announced in October by the Walker administration.
Forty-one states saw some kind of drop in their higher education funding this year. Only s third of states had reductions of 10% or more. An analysis Inside Higher Ed notes that Wisconsin is one of 29 states that’s providing less money to public higher education in the 2011-12 budget year than they did in 2006-07.