UW-Green Bay Continues to Buck Wisconsin’s Higher Education Trends


Data in recently released report from Universities of Wisconsin contrasts University’s current projections

Green Bay, WI – After a recent report conducted by Deloitte commissioned by the Universities of Wisconsin raised questions around the long-term financial sustainability of several state universities, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay released its projections for the university using present-day data showing a strong financial standing and positive future for the University and its students.

In November of last year, leaders at the university developed a robust plan to eliminate a projected $2.2 million deficit by early 2024. As of result of taking action, UW-Green Bay’s financial health trajectory could not stand in greater contrast to the released assertions. Current projections forecast steady increases to the university’s fund balances each year through FY28, expanding the fund by over $1 million. Notably, there is a $11.7 million difference between Deloitte’s projected FY28 ending balance (-$2.8M), and the University’s recent projected FY28 ending balance ($8.9M) – demonstrating the significant disparity the report has with real-time financial information.

Chancellor Alexander shared the reports with the campus community on Thursday, calling attention to three items:

First, the slide shown from Deloitte on page 19 of their Current State Assessment and again on pages 8 and 10 of the summary are crucial to put in context. It takes FY23, which was our worst year by far of the last 6 years, and projects out as if we have not made any financial adjustments in FY24 or planned reductions in FY25.  As a reminder, in FY23, we purposely chose to spend down some of our tuition balance to support our mission. Page 11 of the summary talks broadly about adjustments we have made in FY24 and FY25 and page 12 outlines the projections for our tuition balance as a result, which shows a much more accurate and positive trajectory for us moving forward.  We pledged to end our “structural deficit” by FY25 and I believe that we have done that with the understanding that changes to projected enrollment can always cause us to have to adjust.  We used flat enrollment as a baseline for our numbers.  The Deloitte reports are a snapshot of our financials in Fall 2023. It is important to recognize this distinction and the heavy lifting you have done in recent months to set the stage for us to move into the opportunities before us. 

Second, the structural deficit as defined by Deloitte does not include any revenue that we generate through our Continuing Education Division.  This revenue has been stable for some time now and we continue to seek to grow our presence here in the future as a unique revenue stream that we can rely on.

Third, on page 19 of the summary, I talk about our future plans to keep our budget on the plus side of the ledger and build on our mission.  I outline further growing our dual enrollment and continuing education work, continually examining the sustainability of our program array, developing Phoenix Innovation Park as an entity that drives enrollment and revenue, exploring revenue opportunities for athletics, and continually pushing ourselves to have the strongest possible student support network.

“The present-day picture of UW-Green Bay is innovative and forward-thinking. Despite external uncertainties, we have resiliently expanded our education and access mission in a way that continues to ignite the future of our students and the region,” said Alexander. “The report also notes: ‘UW-Green Bay has defined itself within the system as efficient and effective in keeping tuition affordable for everyone who chooses to pursue higher education and is one of the most efficient universities in the System.’ But efficiency and leanness will not support our future growth.”

About UW-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a school of resilient problem solvers who dare to reach higher with the power of education that ignites growth and answers the biggest challenges. Serving 10,300 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students as well as 67,500 continuing education learners annually, UW-Green Bay offers 200 academic degrees, programs, and certificates. With four campus locations in Northeast Wisconsin, the University’s access mission welcomes all students who want to learn, from every corner of the world. Championing bold thinking since opening its doors in 1965, it is a university on the rise – Wisconsin’s fastest growing UW. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.


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