Statement on the passage of the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates

May 8, 2009

Here is a statement from Chancellor Biddy Martin on today's University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents' vote to adopt the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates:

"I want to thank President Reilly and the Board of Regents for the vision and commitment they have shown in embracing a plan that will improve the quality of the undergraduate experience at UW-Madison while boosting need-based financial aid for our students. The most recent news about the state's budget makes it even more important that we build need-based aid and ensure quality.

"We have received tremendous support from students, faculty, staff, alumni and others in the community who recognize the long-term benefits that this initiative provides. I am deeply thankful for their backing.

"We pledge to deliver value. We'll do this by providing more faculty and instructional support in high-demand areas, classroom innovations and better student-support services.

"The initiative will allow fuller access to high-demand courses and majors and help our students graduate in a timely fashion. It will help preserve the long-term value of a UW-Madison degree.

"This initiative puts us on track to build a need-based financial aid fund and help meet students' demonstrated financial need. In addition to the tuition dollars we will use to build our need-based financial aid fund, we will raise private gifts. Moreover, students with demonstrated need from families earning $80,000 or less will be held harmless from this Madison-specific increase for each of the four years the initiative lasts.

"Our commitment to quality and affordability will keep us in the bottom half of the Big Ten in tuition, even after the initiative is fully implemented. It will also ensure that our quality remains at the top and our students' degrees retain their value."