The University of Wisconsin will suspend undergraduate admissions at all 26 campuses amid uncertainty about the state budget, the Board of Regents announced Friday.
The decision follows a revised budget plan approved by a legislative committee that would leave the system with $20 million less than under Gov. Scott McCallum's proposal, which also cut the university system's budget but allowed for a 10 percent tuition increase.
The state is facing a $1.1 billion budget deficit.
Students already admitted for fall classes will not be affected. About 2,000 who had not yet been notified will have their applications put on hold, said university system spokesman Erik Christianson.
"We realize the impact this has on the lives of our applicants and their families and we apologize for the inconvenience," board president Jay L. Smith said. "But we have no other choice."
Smith said he hoped the suspension, effective Saturday, is temporary.
The Joint Finance Committee's proposal is being reviewed by the Legislature; it requires approval from the full Assembly and McCallum to become law.
Rep. Rob Kreibich, chairman of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, said the regents' action amounted to scare tactics.
"Many people view it as a poorly timed temper tantrum," he said. "A few days ago, they were fine with the governor's cuts."
But Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala said the budget plans put forward by both the governor and legislative committee left the regents with a tough choice.
"This news is a disaster for the state of Wisconsin," Chvala said. "It's a disaster for our economy, and it's a disaster for parents and children who want to attend the University of Wisconsin."