UW–Platteville, Parkside consider furloughs as schools face multimillion-dollar shortfall

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, UW–Platteville and UW–Parkside are considering furloughing employees to cut budgets as school officials expect to fall millions short of current operating levels. UW–Oshkosh is already furloughing some employees this fall.

The UW System, as of June, sits a collective $33.4 million in debt. Though many of its schools outpaced initial revenue expectations last year, it wasn’t enough to counteract expense increases.

School officials point to declining enrollment, the state’s aging population, and state legislative decisions to freeze tuition and reduce state support as the root of current system struggles. UW–Platteville has had the largest percentage of enrollment decline among system main campuses and was in a fiscal recovery plan prior to the announcement of possible furloughs.

Of the UW System’s 13 universities, UW–Madison and UW–La Crosse were the only two to end the fiscal year with a positive balance. The system is partnering with global business analytics firm Deloitte, with an office in Milwaukee, to examine all of the universities’ finances, excluding UW–Madison.