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Rep. Kolste calls for civil debate on UW reserves

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staff, Gazette
May 2, 2013

— Rep. Debra Kolste, D-Janesville, on Wednesday called for a civil debate about how much money is appropriate for the UW System to hold in reserve.

"The insults by legislators and calls for resignations of UW System leaders are out of line," Kolste said.

"Every public institution aims at compiling a reasonable reserve fund," she said, noting the Legislature has been criticized for exhausting its rainy day fund and running structural deficits.

UW System leaders have, in contrast, been prudent, Kolste said.

"That doesn't mean we shouldn't look at how much tuition has risen while the reserve fund has gotten relatively fat," she said.

The system has cash reserves that include $414 million in a tuition cash balance during a period of steadily rising tuition, Kolste said.

"I signed a letter last week calling for a freeze in UW System tuition," she said. "An education at a UW System school should be as affordable and accessible as we can make it, and that tuition cash balance has been built with tuition hikes."



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