University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H Wells announced the campus has been selected as one of six UW System campuses to host a series of three public information meetings this fall. These open public forums are being organized by local citizens, with funding and assistance from the nationally regarded Concord Coalition.
“We are pleased to serve as the host for citizen participation in the process of better understanding important fiscal policy issues,” Wells said. “These sessions present a unique opportunity for all of us to get a better understanding of the size of the national debt and the challenges it poses for federal, state and local government officials.”
In addition to UW Oshkosh, other host sites include UW–Green Bay; UW–La Crosse; UW–Madison; UW–Marathon; and UW–Milwaukee. All three Oshkosh sessions will be held in Room 111 of the Clow Social Sciences Building.
Forum 1: Tuesday, September 28, 2010 (6-8 p.m.)
Originating live from Washington D.C.
- Alice Rivlin, budget director under President Clinton and now at the
- Brian Riedl, Grover Herman Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs at the
Heritage Foundation; and
- Robert Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition
Forum 2: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 (to be announced)
Featuring Rep. Paul Ryan and others from the President’s bipartisan National Commission on fiscal Responsibility and Reform and originating live from UW–Milwaukee
Forum 3: Tuesday, October 26, 2010 (6-8 p.m.)
Featuring state budget experts originating live from UW–Madison and a panel of local experts and officials at each host campus.
All forums will be web-cast and will be moderated either by a Wisconsin organizer or a representative from the Concord Coalition. Audience questions will be forwarded to the experts who will respond live via the Internet to the campus audiences.
“Although politicians this fall are talking a great deal about the current federal deficit, the real problems we face are the huge deficits that are projected a few years down the road — long after the economy has fully recovered from its current difficulties and our military commitments in Afghanistan and Iraq have been scaled back,” said Robert L. Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition and member of the President’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. “Fortunately, the country has options that could put it on a more sustainable course. This series of forums is a convenient way to help local communities attempt to solve the national debt crisis and share your concerns and ideas during this crucial conversation.”
The forums represent the Concord Coalition’s third informational outreach initiative in Wisconsin. The nationally respected coalition, which was founded in the early 1990s by Republican United States Senator Warren Rudman and Democratic United States Senator Paul Tsongas, came to Milwaukee in 2007 on one of fifteen national stops on a Fiscal Wake-Up Tour. Then between 2008 and the end of 2009, the organizations convened a series of public meetings in the Milwaukee area and helped organize a local Milwaukee Area Fiscal Advisory Council which, in turn, produced a report that was shared with Wisconsin’s congressional delegation and featured at a major press event in Washington D.C. in December 2009.
Wells said that UW Oshkosh sees this series as an important part of public educational outreach efforts. “We know that all governmental budgets will be challenged. Limitations in available funding will require careful decision-making and active involvement from an informed public,” Wells said.
For more information, contact Tom Grogan, Executive Projects Coordinator, Office of the Chancellor, UW Oshkosh (920) 424-3168.