On Friday, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank released an updated statement on the university’s plan for anticipated state budget cuts. In her post, Blank said that the $21 million in budget cuts would include the elimination of approximately 400 positions.
Other areas that will be cut according to Blank include: program closures and mergers, academic offerings and services, and student and faculty support services. But the announcement lacked specific details according to one critic.
Senator Stephen Nass (R-Whitewater) released a statement shortly after Blank’s announcement criticizing the Chancellor for misrepresenting the position cuts.
“Once again, Chancellor Blank issues an announcement to inflame passions of students and faculty against the Governor and Legislature over the budget without releasing details,” Nass said.
A media request for clarification on the positions affected revealed that a majority of the 400 positions Blank mentions are currently vacant.
“Chancellor Blank throws out a big number for position reductions hoping to imply massive layoffs. However, when pushed for details UW-Madison admits most of the positions are vacant and they don’t really know how many current employees might be laid off,” Nass said.
The MacIver Institute filed an open records request with UW-Madison on March 25 seeking information on the total number of vacant positions at the university. But our request has not yet been filled.
Nass also raised concerns that the Chancellor did not talk about administrative cuts.
Nass ended his statement saying, “it’s starting to appear that Chancellor Blank will protect the upper-echelon and inflict the most pain on students and instructional staff.”
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