UW System proposes merging 2-year campuses with 4-year campuses

Image courtesy UW-Oshkosh.

(WLUK) -- Citing changing demographics, the University of Wisconsin System is proposing merging the 13 two-year campuses with seven nearby four-year campuses.

Under the plan, UW-Manitowoc, Marinette and Sheboygan would become part of UW-Green Bay; and UW-Fond du Lac and Fox Valley would become part of UW-Oshkosh.

See the rest of the proposed merger.

It's an option, Alyssa Butchz who is a student at UW-Fox Valley, says she likes, "I honestly, think it would be really cool, make a lot of things easier."

UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt discussed the proposed plan Wednesday saying, "What we want is a fully integrated university, that has three campuses."

Martin Rudd, Dean at UW-Fox Valley says the merger will ensure two-year campuses remain open, while keeping tuition costs down, "We serve a lot first generation students, a lot of low income students, we provide them access to education."

According to the UW-System, full time student enrollment at its two-year campuses continues to drop.

  • For the Fond du Lac campus, enrollment in 2010 was around 651 students. In the Fall of 2017, that number fell to 431.
  • While at UW- Fox Valley, enrollment was just around 13,000 students in 2010, that number dropped to 947 in 2017.

"Fox Valley has experienced enrollment decline, our total decline was right around 30 percent since 2012," explained Rudd.

Leavitt says allowing students to choose between a two-year degree, or a four-year degree, is another perk, "The students are going to choose what's in their best interest, often times the way students choose higher education today, local is better."

If approved, the changes would go into effect the 2018-19 school year.

Butchz, who had been looking to transfer, says if it passes she would considering staying at UW-Fox Valley, "I probably would actually."

The plan will be presented to the UW-governing body next month for approval.

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