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The Coalition for Affordable Public Education

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We the undersigned declare our grave concerns regarding the new fee structure for professors and departments employing project, program and research assistants that UW-Madison intends to implement for the University of Wisconsin-Madison on January 1, 2007. While we understand that the University of Wisconsin System is faced with a budget crisis associated with the continued decline in state funding for the UW System, we emphatically believe that the new fee structure UW-Madison intends to implement is short-sighted and suffers from a lack of input. It will decrease student access to academic assistance, and will result in a significant decline in the ability of the University to recruit and retain top-notch faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Furthermore, the new fee structure places an undue burden on existing grants and the ability to submit financially competitive grants in the future. This will lead to a decrease in the amount of grant money awarded to the university and instills another hurdle to faculty recruitment and retention. 1) We call on UW-Madison to postpone the implementation of the reduction of project assistants, program assistants and research assistants that is certain to occur with the assessment of the new $8000 flat fee on professors and departments employing the above assistants. 2) We urge UW-Madison to convene a new task force to examine reasonable solutions to the budget shortfall and to include graduate and undergraduate students as members of the new task force. 3) The new task force shall be instructed to examine the long-term effects of decreasing the number of project assistants, program assistants and research assistants on the quality of education provided and research conducted by UW-Madison. 4) Finally, we encourage UW-Madison to collaborate with the UW System Regents, student and faculty groups to work with the Wisconsin State Legislature to secure adequate public funding for the University of Wisconsin System so that the drastic and short-sighted recommendations of the Tuition Remission Task Force need not be implemented. Together, we can raise UW-Madison to greater heights rather than force the institution into a downward spiral from which it may never recover.


Coalition for Affordable Public Education (CAPE)


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