UWM needs funds to maintain campus, R1 status: 'We need help'

A warning from UW-Milwaukee administrators as they say the school needs more support to maintain the campus. 

A new report details how challenges are stacking as it tried to maintain its status as an elite research university.

It's the largest university in the state’s biggest city, and while the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee plays a crucial role in the region thriving…

"We need help," said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone.

A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum highlighting reasons why.  

"UWM is really facing some really acute challenges with respect to state funding tuition dollars which have been frozen for eight years and enrollment that has fallen roughly 20% over a decade," said Jason Stein, research director for Wisconsin Policy Forum.

UWM also had a net pandemic loss of $39 million.

Mark Mone

"We thought that particular type of attention could be beneficial for UWM to demonstrate our strengths and accomplishments and really the challenge in front of us," said Mone.

He says, despite the funding level, the school had to work more effectively and efficiently to provide access to higher education as it serves one of the most diverse and underserved student populations in Wisconsin. And the analysis which was commissioned and partially funded by the UWM Foundation underscores the need for more support. 

"I’m really proud of what we have received from the state but I’m also concerned over time how it’s continuing to diminish," said Mone.

UW System President Tommy Thompson released a statement saying, in part:

"With support from the Board of Regents and business and community leaders, we are going to build UW-Milwaukee up in the face of any challenges. It is one of our top priorities," he said.

"Despite these headwinds we are bullish, we are panthers, we are resilient and we’re just going to keep making a big difference in this region," Mone said.

The report added that UW and state officials could consider solutions including funding, providing state tax dollars for UW operations, financial aid, and raising tuition to match inflation and efficiencies.

FOX6 has reached out to several members of the joint committee on finance and has yet to hear back. 

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