Daily Bread for 10.5.21: UW-Whitewater’s Challenges Aren’t Existential

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 70.  Sunrise is 6:57 AM and sunset 6:27 PM for 11h 29m 56s of daytime.  The moon is a waning crescent with 1.4% of its visible disk illuminated.

 The Whitewater Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

 On this day in 1813, The Army of the Northwest defeats a British and Native Canadian force threatening Detroit.

There are many challenges that UW-Whitewater and other UW System schools face, but they are problems of relative size and ability, not of survival.  Declining enrollments, sexual assault & harassment, and attempts to restrict speech plague these schools, but there’s no reason to think any or all of these problems will lead to school closures. (One has never argued that there would be a collapse for the city or the UW-Whitewater campus; questions of the future are ones of relative strength or weakness, not of extinction.)

Reporting today from Wisconsin Public Radio reminds that the System and its Whitewater campus have been able to improve, at least for now, an unfavorable financial condition.

 Rich Kremer reports UW System tuition, program revenue balances up nearly $189M from 2020 levels:

After a year of spending cuts driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, fund balances at University of Wisconsin System campuses have grown significantly. Tuition reserves, in particular, have increased by more than 46 percent following years of sustained decreases that put some campuses in financial jeopardy.

Tuition fund balances are revenues left over after expenses are paid in a prior campus budget year and used to safeguard against unexpected costs or revenue losses.

According to a new UW System report on a variety of balances, unrestricted tuition fund balances in fiscal year 2021 increased to $333.2 million, which works out to an increase of more than 46 percent compared to the $227.3 million held at the end of the 2020 fiscal year. That’s the highest tuition balances have been since 2015. The increase follows years of consistent tuition fund balance declines driven by anger from Republican lawmakers over the size of balances held by system campuses nearly a decade ago.

Tuition balances increased at every campus this fiscal year compared to last, with some growing exponentially.

  • UW-Stout, which reported a negative tuition balance of $133,181 on June 30, 2020, had a positive tuition balance of $5,630,877 on June 30, 2021. That’s an increase of about 4,328 percent.
  • UW-Whitewater had a tuition balance of $2,908,572 at the end of June 2020. On June 30 of this year, the campus reported an $18,921,710 balance, which works out to an increase of more than 550 percent.
  • UW-La Crosse saw it’s tuition balances grow from $4,824,596 last year to $11,619,669 this year for an increase of nearly 141 percent.

When including what are known by administrators as “program revenue balances,” the total unrestricted pool of funds held by the UW System increased by $189.1 million between fiscal years 2020 and 2021, or about 24 percent.

Animals at the Oregon Zoo Enjoy Pumpkin Treats:

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