UW System testifies before Joint Finance Committee on UW split - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UW System testifies before Joint Finance Committee on UW split

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MADISON (WKOW) -- More authority for all schools in the UW System. That's what system president Kevin Reilly called for Thursday morning.

"This is not the time to break up a well-running UW System," Reilly said.

The UW System President renewed his call for greater control at the university level - proposed in the Wisconsin Ideas Partnership. Reilly is opposed to Walker's plan -- supported by UW-Madison Chancellor Biddy Martin -- to spin off the Madison campus from the rest of the system.

Before the hearing began, the state's largest teachers union had its say. WEAC President, Mary Bell, led a news conference detailing opposition to the governor's proposed budget cuts.

"This part of the proposed state budget really signals how far back Governor Walker wants to take Wisconsin," Bell said.

"This undermines our ability to be the great state we have been, " Beth Huang, a sophomore at UW-Madison said.

Huang said she came to speak on behalf of 140,000 students across the UW System.

Chad Goldburg represented the concerns of UW professors over cuts in funding.

Goldburg said, "For those who believe what we do is a public good, not a private one, the Governor's attempt to shift the cost of education to students and their families is profoundly troubling."

Reilly also testified to Alberta Darling and the rest of the committee that the cuts proposed in the governor's budget would not be up for savings provided by union employees paying more into their pension and health care benefits.

The UW System faces a $250 million cut in the proposed two-year budget.

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