Area universities react to UW System restructuring proposal

By  | 

FOX VALLEY, Wisconsin The UW System proposes a major change to operations.

Officials laid out restructuring plans that would link two-year colleges to the nearest four-year university.

In northeast Wisconsin, UW Fox Valley and Fond du Lac would merge with UW Oshkosh.

UW Sheboygan, Manitowoc and Marinette would become campus locations of UW Green Bay.

"We think this is going to be tremendous for the citizens and the students of this region,” Andrew Leavitt, UW Oshkosh Chancellor said. “Cause our plans are to fully integrate these campuses into the university to where we have three campuses and one university."

Leavitt believes the merger will bring more baccalaureate and masters programs to the campuses of UW Fox Valley and Fond du Lac.

UW Fox Valley's dean Martin Rudd sees the move as enhancing access, a strong part of the university's identity.

"A lot of students, a lot of first generation students, a lot of low income students and we provide them with that access to education," said Rudd.

The UW System says the reform was in part prompted by declining enrollment and Wisconsin’s aging population.

The number of full-time students at UW Fox Valley is down nearly one-third since 2012.

"Incumbent upon us to create the kinds of programs that will draw students,” Leavitt said. “Draw a great percentage of students to both a two-year experience and a four-year experience and we think we can do it better as a consolidated university."

Leavitt says there will be zero job losses associated with the restructuring.

This proposal will come before the board of regents in November and become effective July 1st.