MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus:         Newsletters 
Thursday, March 5, 2015 |  Madison, WI: -3.0° F  Fair
Collapse Photo Bar

Big Education

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Re: Big Education

Postby rabble » Thu Apr 25, 2013 6:39 pm

The One wrote:Don't get me wrong, I like that the UW is financially well off and able to keep some money in reserve. But stop jacking up tuition.

Financially well off?

Who the hell told you it was financially well off? What freaking standards are you using?

Christ. People are coming in for interviews and walking off laughing when they find out what the starting salary is. That's a good way to lose the grant money. If it keeps up we'll have a football team on an empty campus.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6827
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby Sandi » Fri Apr 26, 2013 12:50 am

rabble wrote:Who the hell told you it was financially well off? What freaking standards are you using?


The fact the the university was able to squeeze out an extra half a billion plus for future projects?

I don't think that is wrong, but they managed to save much more than small change.
Sandi
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1967
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2005 11:31 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby rabble » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:12 am

Sandi wrote:
rabble wrote:Who the hell told you it was financially well off? What freaking standards are you using?


The fact the the university was able to squeeze out an extra half a billion plus for future projects?

I don't think that is wrong, but they managed to save much more than small change.

I wondered if anybody would take the easy shot.
Question: What percent of its annual operating budget is that?

If you don't know, why are you so certain it's not small change?
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6827
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby Detritus » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:50 am

Sandi wrote:
rabble wrote:Who the hell told you it was financially well off? What freaking standards are you using?


The fact the the university was able to squeeze out an extra half a billion plus for future projects?

I don't think that is wrong, but they managed to save much more than small change.

Some of the money is indeed savings of one type or another, but the "for future projects" is a rather fuzzy way of wording the bulk of the funds we're talking about. Funds for various kinds of projects that can take more than one fiscal year to complete--ranging from building repair to international library acquisitions--are handled through a different process from, for example, buying a chair for an office. The total amount that is projected to be spent has to be "encumbered" first, and that encumberance has to be done in a single fiscal year, which typically puts that budget line in the red. The money is still there, technically, but it has been spoken for, and the university has to be ready to deliver it at a moment's notice, when the final invoice for the project is delivered. Budgets like this have to figured over more than one year, and need to balance but over a period of several years, not just in a single year. In other words, this isn't mad money set aside in case there is a sudden urge for a new gymnasium--this money has effectively been spent already.

All of this is laid out in every annual budget, and in the periodic budget report produced over the course of a fiscal year. The System administration understands this, the regents understand this, and the legislators should understand this. But it is to their political advantage right now to be obtuse. Or they are truly incompetent, to the point that they don't even recognize their incompetence.

This article from Inside Higher Ed talks about the situation as something normal across different university systems, if you are interested in comparison.
Detritus
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2612
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 9:42 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby rabble » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:18 pm

Statement from the Chancellor: (emphasis mine)
The figures show system-wide balances in key program revenue appropriations of $648 million at the end of the 2011-12 fiscal year. Of that amount, UW–Madison accounts for approximately $298 million. A significant portion of the balance resides in accounts dispersed across the institution in schools, colleges and other units. It’s important to note that much of the balance in these accounts is obligated to designated purposes such as additional financial aid for undergraduate students, while other funding is dedicated to supporting the growth in high-demand programs such as business and engineering.


The governor’s budget proposal, presented earlier this spring, was one of the best in recent years for higher education. However, given the mood of the legislature at this moment in time we are likely to see significant changes that will be challenging for all of us.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6827
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby Marvell » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:54 pm

I think what this shows is that the same people who are always whining about how the University should be run more like a business have no fucking idea how to run a business.

And Steve Nass calling someone an 'educational conman' is pretty much the platonic ideal of the pot calling the kettle black.
Marvell
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 7002
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 11:28 pm
Location: At one with time and space

Re: Big Education

Postby DCB » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:12 am

I wasn't sure what to make of this 'scandal'. Is this a $300M slush fund (SCARY!) or just a .2% budget reserve for contingencies (standard business practice).

Today's article sheds some light on it:
The origins of a nightmarish last week for University of Wisconsin System officials can be traced to a meeting of accountants earlier this year at the state Capitol.

“It was a large number with no detail or breakdown,” said Rep. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green, who hosted the meeting. “That’s why we were questioning it.”

Read more: http://host.madison.com/news/local/educ ... z2Rm4ltOti

Hmm, Marklein. What's his angle?
Ellis’ comments made clear Republicans saw a wedge issue they could use to populist advantage.

Marklein, for one, has sights on higher office. He’s announced he’ll challenge Sen. Dale Schultz, a fellow Republican from Richland Center.

So this is just feigned outrage from Marklein and his buddies to get rid of the one sane Republican in the WI Senate.
DCB
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2937
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 5:08 pm

Re: Big Education

Postby MPMay » Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:40 pm

This story has been driving me nuts for days.

First of all, we finally find out in the WSJ story linked above, today, after a week of screaming about a $650 million surplus, that it is really about $200 million -- once you account for the portions of the "surplus" that already have been dedicated to future projects. So the "CPA caucus" of the GOP was off by 66%. Hmm....

Then, if my math is right (and I always tell my finance people to check my math), the UW System budget is about $5.9 billion. So your alleged $650 million reserve is at 11%, and when adjusted for the real reserve of only $200 million, the UW is holding something like a 3.4% reserve.

Outrageous!

I sure hope they don't start applying these standards to corporate budgets, municipal budget or any budgets in the real world.

It seems the State Legislature only understands defict budgeting, not conservative budgeting.
MPMay
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 150
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:54 pm

Previous

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


  ISTHMUS FLICKR
Created with flickr badge.

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar