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Majority of UW $755M in reserves earmarked for specific uses on campuses

University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A new state audit shows four out-of-every five dollars in the University of Wisconsin reserve fund is dedicated to specific purposes on campuses. 

The non-partisan Legislative Audit Bureau took a look at $755-million in reserves that turned up at UW campuses this spring. 

State lawmakers were so upset at the news about the surpluses, they froze university tuition for the first time since the UW and the old Wisconsin State University systems merged in the early 1970's.

Lawmakers were upset at the large stash that was mostly made up of tutition, which has seen increases for a number of years. 

On Friday, a new Audit Bureau reported showed that almost 61-percent of the reserves had documents showing some kind of plan for spending the money.  Another 15-percent was designated for purposes related to their original allocations.  And almost five-percent were intended to be reserves all along.  The remaining 19-percent was undocumented. 

Auditors said there was either no plan to spend that money -- or the documentation was not available. 

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