Tri-State Initiative eases budget crunch burdenBy Gerrad Frei • April 19, 2012 • Category: News
Director for Financial Services Cathy Riedl-Farrey presented the spring 2012 budget update to Faculty Senate April 10 that reported the 1,169 TSI students had provided University of Wisconsin-Platteville with roughly $12.3 million for the semester of spring 2012.
TSI brings in money when there is a $1.3 million lapse and $3.5 million budget cut. Because the money is in tuition dollars, it can be used to pay for a variety of campus expenses.
“We try to find what the dollars could best be used for on campus,” Assistant Chancellor for Administrative Services Rob Cramer said. “It’s a very complicated process.”
However, there are some areas which are guaranteed a certain amount of the TSI dollars every semester.
Approximately $2 million of this revenue are set aside annually to cover debt services, such as renovations to and construction projects on the residence halls and various other buildings on campus.
Roughly $837,500 of the TSI dollars is delegated to distributing grants to the students participating in the TSI program; freshman receive $1,000 and sophomores, juniors, and seniors receive $500.
The TSI also provides $9,846,000 to cover the annual salaries of 156 university employees, which leaves $772,000 to help compensate the various supply needs of the campus.
However, how the funds are distributed may change in the near future.
“There is a plan to revisit Faculty Senate and the various other senate groups to restructure the budgeting process,” Cramer said. “The idea is to base future resource decisions on the soon to be approved strategic plan.”
In 2005, the UW-Platteville created the Tri-State Initiative, a program which allows for students from Iowa and Illinois to attend the university at a discounted rate when compared to out-of-state tuition.
The TSI offers Iowa and Illinois students differential tuition, in this case, a tuition rate between that of out-of-state and in-state tuitions.
This differential tuition is also comparable to that of in-state tuition in both Iowa and Illinois which allows for UW-Platteville to possibly draw in students from these neighboring states.
“TSI has been the vehicle to add programs and deal with budget cuts,” Cramer said. “Without it, we’d be laying people off and cutting programs. It is an essential part of the budget.”