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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will share the results of a survey of students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the broader public on state budget reduction options that will help the University trim up to $7.7 million from its budget for the 2009-2011 biennium. The forum is slated for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 31 in Room 202 of the Reeve Memorial Union, 748 Algoma Blvd.

More than 470 people participated in the survey, which sought feedback on the priority areas the University will consider when establishing budget development principles that will be used when making strategic decisions on what areas to enhance, which areas should be protected and where to make reductions. The survey also requested suggestions for reducing the impact of budget cuts, and recommendations for minimizing the impact of the budget situation on students and services.

The budget forum, which is the University’s second since October, will include a 40-minute open discussion on the feedback survey results and an update on the next steps in the process. The survey report an all individual responses will be posted on the Budget Office Web site.

“The feedback we received is extremely valuable as we work to ensure a UW Oshkosh education remains accessible and affordable while maintaining quality and continuing to foster the scholarly activities of faculty, students and staff related to teaching, research, intellectual activities, creative expression and service,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “With its successful process for making sound financial decisions, UW Oshkosh will meet the challenges posed by the current economic crisis.

“We are committed to maintaining the current number of seats in courses for our students, producing better-prepared graduates, avoiding layoffs with the help of the Governor and the Legislature, and creating several thousand construction-related jobs through the completion of $100 million of capital improvements over the next 2-3 years.”

Since October, Chancellor Wells has provided regular updates to the campus about possible budget scenarios. Click here to read more.

“I believe it is important to share what we have learned from the results of the survey and to explain what will be done with the knowledge and insights that have been gained from them,” said Vice Chancellor for Administrative Services Tom Sonnleitner. “We want to help ensure that when decisions are made within individual departments and units that the decisions are not made in isolation but rather made with awareness of the interrelationships across the University.”

“I greatly appreciate the opportunity to have a significant voice in helping the administration determine the best course of action during these difficult financial times,” added Faculty Senate President Bill Wacholtz. “The administration has kept the University community as a whole updated as to the situation facing UW Oshkosh and have offered many venues for the faculty and staff to have feedback in regards to budget issues and to help identify the core programs which we value the most.”