December 23rd, 2022 

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

Audit Reviews UW System’s Financial Statements 

MADISON– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement in response to the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau’s (LAB) release of Report 22-25 on the University of Wisconsin (UW) System’s Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2021-22: 

“As Co-Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, I joined my fellow Co-Chair former Representative Samantha Kerkman (R-Salem Lakes) to lead the effort earlier this year to get committee members on board with a multi-part, comprehensive review of the administration of supplemental federal funds sent to our state as a result of Congressional acts related to the pandemic. Part of Report 22-25 is dedicated to a review of the $563.7 million in supplemental federal funds that the UW System received.

“While their administration and allocation does leave room for improvement, I am relieved to see that just $239,200 of unallowable expenses occurred. This is especially welcome given that the UW System did not provide written guidance to campuses on the allowable uses. I sternly encourage the UW-System to follow the four recommendations provided by LAB in response to this evaluations, including settling the issue of unallowable expenditures, providing written guidance, and reporting back to the Committee.

“While the administration of these funds was not noted as substantially concerning by LAB, I would also encourage the Board of Regents and UW System leadership to take a closer look at the decisions they make on the allocation of funds between different campuses. The charts provided in the report, in my opinion, show a consistent lack of funds heading to UW Green Bay, the campus close to my district and one of the few campuses that’s not suffering from enrollment declines. We need to ensure that out state campuses are given the attention they deserve when stacked up against major institutions in the southern part of the state.”