Monday - February 13, 2017 11:50 pm

UW-L chancellor still questions what little details coming out from Gov. Walker budget

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Chancellor Gow sees simpler ways to holding UW
schools accountable than performance-based funding.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is slowly unveiling details about his funding plans for University of Wisconsin System schools.

Some of the latest details show it to be performance based, including 45 percent for workforce readiness. 

UW-La Crosse chancellor Joe Gow still has some questions.

"Relative to what? Would it be institution to institution? Would there be a goal that was set that would be measured relative to our progress toward that goal?" Gow asked. "That's not clear yet, so it's kind of hard to know how well this would work."

Gow says every university is so unique it wouldn't be fair to compare each.

"We'll do really well on the time to graduation and the number of graduates, and those kind of things," Gow said. "Some of the other measures are maybe not targeted toward an institution like ours."

Gow has called Walker's budget the best he's ever seen, though, as Republicans head into an election year, they are coming off a $250 million cut to the System last session and have decreased funding for public schools by over a billion dollars since 2011. 

To, possibly begin to make up for those losses, Walker is allocating $42.5 million to UW System schools based on performance factors like work readiness, affordability and attainability and administrative efficiency. 

Gow, however, says there is a simpler way to see if a university is accountable for tax payers money.

"Is enrollment going up? Are students eager to be there? And are they getting their degrees on time?" Gow pointed out. "Those are the things that are pretty strong indicators. I hope that we don't lose sight that if students are getting what they want from the university, then that is accountability."

Gow says overall he's appreciative that Walker is - now - investing into the UW System.

 

Drew Kelly

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