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Chancellor Blank Speaks at Student Council

Posted: 2019-02-06 20:55:05   Expiration: 2040-02-19 13:55:05



        Morgan Grunow, Press Office Director | 262-215-8737


MADISON, Wis. —  On Wednesday, February 6, Chancellor Rebecca Blank spoke at the Associated Students of Madison (ASM) Student Council meeting about current initiatives on campus, and answered questions from the body.

Blank began by talking about issues related to recent weather events, access and affordability, campus climate, the state budget, searches for both a University Health Services Executive Director and a Dean of Students, as well as mental health resources.

Recently, an initiative named “The Target of Opportunity Program” has begun with an intention to hire more individuals in departments with underrepresented communities. Blank hopes this will help to diversify campus departments and add value to the university.

Blank also touched on the upcoming release of the state budget, and specifically the Board of Regents’ request for funding for building initiatives for academic programs with high demand. According to Blank, these are to focus primarily around engineering, computer science, nursing and the business school.

Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Laura Downer referenced the consistent rise in non-resident tuition, and how this is a barrier when attracting a diverse pool of applicants.

In response, Blank stated that UW-Madison needed to be within the same market as peer institutions. Going forward, both in-state and out-of-state tuition will continue to increase with inflation, while also looking to increase aid for out-of-state students.

Chief Justice Tom Summerwill asked about the possibility of seeing a segregated fee opt-out in the proposed state budget, something that occured two years prior.

“The legislature hasn’t changed, and I think we may have to fight the fight again to protect segregated fees,” Blank said, noting that ASM leaders should be prepared when the budget is released in the coming months.

Sustainability Committee Chair Katie Piel asked why UW-Madison is still one of the two Big Ten schools without a STARS rating (Sustainability Tracking and Ratings System), in reference to future infrastructure developments on campus.

“We have to be on that list. We’re behind and we’re working towards it,” Blank said, stating that one of the real constraints over the past four years is a lack of financial support from the state. “I hope that over time, we will gain more support from the state”


-- Associated Students of Madison: Morgan Grunow