UW committees seek changes in reserves policy

Two University of Wisconsin System committees want to see changes in a new reserves policy.

Republican legislators have criticized system officials for building massive reserves while raising tuition. The state budget froze tuition for the next two years and requires the regents to submit proposed limits on reserves.

System officials drafted a policy in response that would require campuses to maintain reserves of at least 10 percent of their expenses. Institutions would have to justify reserves of more than 15 percent.

The regents’ finance and audit committees considered the policy at a joint meeting Friday. Some members said they were concerned lawmakers might interpret the 15 percent language as a cap. The committees asked system staff to clarify the policy doesn’t set limits ahead of the regents’ October meeting.