Two Badger State university administrators, Charles Pruitt and Jay Smith, believe that the public university system in their state is heading for real trouble unless the state can find a way to recommit to higher education. According to an editorial in the La Crosse Tribune:

Pruitt and Smith identify some troubling trends. Wisconsin has increased its commitment to higher education at less than half the rate of the rest of the country during the past five years. In the past 30 years, state support for UW System schools has fallen from nearly half to slightly less than a quarter of the system budget.

Pruitt, a partner in a Milwaukee marketing and data processing company, has been president of the University of Wisconsin system board of regents since 2009. Smith served in the same capacity from 2000 to 2002.

Pruitt says the citizens of the state need to have “a forthright conversation about how much Wisconsin values one of the great public university systems.” The state’s commitment to its public colleges is low, and trends indicate that it’s only going to decline. Tuition across the University of Wisconsin puts it about average compared to other states. According to Pruitt and Smith, Wisconsin’s public funding for higher education is 34th per capita among U.S. states.

Read the paper about tuition by Pruitt and Smith it here.

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Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer