WAUSAU - UW System schools learned they'll be getting $181 million more from the state over the next two years.
Governor Scott Walker plans to reverse spending cuts from the last biannual budget. It doesn't quite make up for the entire amount cut two years ago from the UW System. But local administrators say this budget is a huge step in the right direction.
The money will go to the 26 universities in the UW System. The goal is to train students for high-demand jobs.
The Dean of UW-Marathon County says this is an "education budget"
"It invests in the UW in several key areas. In particular job creation and workforce development. So it provides us with some resources specifically, in specific areas to enhance work in fields such as business, healthcare, science and engineering," says Dr. Keith Montgomery.
The state budget includes $20 million in incentive grants. Dr. Montgomery says that could help UWMC work more with four-year universities.
He also thinks the UW System will use the money to help keep tuition prices down.
WAUSAU - Students at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau got to see Tibetan monks create a work of art steeped in Buddhist history.
The Mandala Sand Art is an ancient Tantric Buddhist tradition dating back thousands of years.
The Tibetan Monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery are on an international tour called Mystical Arts of Tibet where they create mandalas in front of an audience.
"The colored patterns we are using, we are following the scriptures, the Buddhist scriptures. It's a very old tradition, more than 2,500 years ago," says Geshe Loden, head of the Mystical Arts of Tibet.
The monks' last visit to Northcentral Technical College in 2011 was so popular, they were invited back.
"At NTC we feel like it's important to offer our students a variety of different programming, and one of the things we feel our responsibility to do is expose our students to other cultures, other religions, other ideas," says Director of Student Development Shawn Sullivan.
The monks work hours at a time placing sand delicately in the lines of the intricate pattern.
The mandala will take them four days to complete, but the beautiful creation won't last long.
"After finishing this, making the mandala, we consecrate this completed mandala, and we dismantle it to symbolize the impermanence of all the conditioned things, all the phenomena," says Loden.
The monks' tour raises money for more than 3,000 monasteries in India. They also do it to raise awareness about the plight of Tibetans.
"Lord Buddha had started this, and that tradition keeps going on."
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