UW–Madison’s Taylor Odle recently spoke with The Capital Times about the state of higher education funding for UW System institutions.
Before becoming an assistant professor with the School of Education’s Department of Educational Policy Studies, Odle worked for the Tennessee Higher Education Committee leading fiscal policy. He points out that even with a Republican governor and legislature, Tennessee continues to invest increasing amounts of money in its public institutions every year.
“They have recognized that a quality college education is important to economic and community development in their state, and they have moved forward in that way,” Odle says.
In 2021, Wisconsin four-year colleges received roughly half the amount of funding in state and local taxes and tuition per full-time student when compared to the state that ranks No. 1 in funding, Illinois.
According to the Capital Times report, “The System’s financial woes are not ‘driven by exorbitant spending’ like other institutions, (Odle) said, but by ‘state policy decisions that have been slowly killing (the System) for years.’” The UW System as a whole had a $33.4 million deficit at the end of the 2022-23 school year.
“At a broad level, less money means less things, less academic programs, less faculty, less scholarships,” Odle tells the Cap Times. “That includes less money for some of the most expensive academic programs — nursing, engineering, data science — which are also among the fields employers need most.”
Read the full Capital Times article.