Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,
Following last week’s campus budget meeting, the question arose about whether the current budget challenges we face will impact UWM’s status as a research university. My unequivocal answer is no. Our mission is to serve as one of two UW System doctoral-granting research universities. This has not changed and there are no plans to change it.
Our role as a doctoral university, including applied and basic research, is clearly stated in UWM’s select mission statement and is affirmed in the Doctoral Cluster Mission statement, which provides that UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee share a core mission that includes organized programs of research. UW-Milwaukee also is distinguished by its access mission, serving the largest urban population in the state.
There has been some misinformation circulating that the UWS Board of Regents is considering changing UWM’s mission to become a comprehensive university. This is false. I’ve spoken to UWS President Ray Cross and a change in our status as a research university is not being considered. Regent President Millner is also supportive of our Research and Access mission, as noted above.
UWM is the state’s only public urban research university, which is absolutely essential to the future of our region and state. Public research universities like UWM introduce the vital research that drives human, scientific and technological discovery. Nationally – and in Wisconsin as well – there is an ongoing trend for companies and organizations to rely on universities for research that leads to an educated population and economic growth.
Research excellence, student success and community engagement are our top strategic directions. Our current and future decisions and planning will continue to be guided by UWM as a research university. We are committing resources, as we can, to support our research mission, including base budget allocations of $692,000 for graduate student stipends this year in addition to the $250,000 one-time funds provided last year.
I know that there is personal distress and anxiety resulting from our campus’ budget issues. The prolonged period of uncertainty we are experiencing has been understandably burdensome. Please know that you will receive a follow-up message from me later this week to address the concerns expressed about our overall budget status, the process and timeline for the timing and work of the Chancellor’s Campus Organization & Effectiveness Team (CCOET), the importance of minimizing layoffs, and related issues.
I will do everything I can to reinforce our status and that of our esteemed faculty, staff and students. I have been working with our distinguished professors, governance groups and those who share our stories to articulate our research mission and why it is so essential to our students, the region and the state. At every opportunity I will remind our audiences that, as a research university, UWM is more than a treasure; it is a necessity.