UPDATE: Vos say UW canceling class for Obama could be costly - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Vos says UW decision to cancel class for Obama visit could prove costly


MADISON (WKOW) -- President Obama's visit to the University of Wisconsin last month could prove costly.

The new Speaker of the State Assembly says UW's decision to cancel classes for the President's visit is something he will remember when they submit their budget request next year.

Rep. Robin Vos (R-Burlington) says his motivations aren't political, but he warns that every decision the University of Wisconsin makes has an influence on its funding.

An estimated 30,000 people flocked to Bascom Hill on October 4th to see President Obama speak.

Because of the massive size of the event and requests from the Secret Service that some buildings be evacuated, UW officials decided to cancel classes in the immediate area.

"The decision to host the event was because we felt there was value," said Vince Sweeney, Vice-Chancellor for UW Relations.

Instructors were told to make up the classes if possible, but new Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says they never should have been canceled in the first place.

"It just seemed a little crazy to me that the University would say that any political event would trump a child's education," said Rep. Vos.

Vos says the decision could cost the UW real dollars next year.

"When we look at the University and they come to us and say we need to have more funding to do additional classes, to do additional compensation for professors and then I see that they are willing to take time out of a student's calendar year to have their professors be able to attend a political rally, it wouldn't matter if it was a Republican or a Democrat, that's not the thing that I would say you close a school down for," said Rep. Vos.

But UW officials hope Rep. Vos's feelings on the matter don't outweigh their overall vision for the future.

"It may be something he's not happy with, but I think he's an experienced enough legislator that he'll roll that into the mix as part of the overall picture when it comes to him to support or not support our request," said Sweeney.

"Its not gonna be a tit for tat, but its just when they come to us and ask us for more money, all those things are considerations," said Rep. Vos.

The State Legislature cut over $250 million from the UW System in the 2011-'13 budget cycle.

The UW Board of Regents has approved a $21 million increase in its budget request for 2013-'15.


MADISON (WKOW) -- New State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) says the University of Wisconsin-Madison's decision to cancel some classes for President Barack Obama's October 3 visit will be remembered when their budget request comes up.

Vos says that if UW-Madison is asking for more resources in its 2013 budget request, they will have to be asked about any decisions like that one which reduce the amount of class time for students.

Vince Sweeney, UW Vice-Chancellor for University Relations, says he would hope the decision to allow students to see the President would not be given any more weight than anything else when it comes to their budget request.

Capitol Bureau Chief Greg Neumann is following this story and will have more on 27 News at 5 and 6.


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