UW Colleges Mergers Underway

UW Colleges Mergers Underway

August 23, 2019 9 By Stanley Isaacs


MIKE: THE UNIVERSITY OF
WISCONSIN’S TWO-YEAR COLLEGES
HAVE BEEN FACING DECLINING
ENROLLMENT. TO ADDRESS THIS, THE U-W SYSTEM
DECIDED TO INTEGRATE THE
THIRTEEN TWO-YEAR CAMPUSES WITH
THE LARGER, FOUR-YEAR
UNIVERSITIES. THE SYSTEM CURRENTLY IS IN PHASE
ONE OF THE RESTRUCTURING PLAN,
WHICH IS EXPECTED TO TAKE TWO
YEARS TO ACCOMPLISH. TODAY, WE’RE CHECKING IN ON HOW
THAT IS GOING. IN SOUTHWESTERN WISCONSIN, U-W
PLATTEVILLE IS INTEGRATING U-W
BARABOO SAUK COUNTY, AND U-W
RICHLAND. WE’RE TALKING NOW WITH
PLATTEVILLE CHANCELLOR DENNIS
SHIELDS, WHO IS AT OUR MADISON
AFFILIATE. GOOD TO HAVE YOU WITH US TODAY. HOW WAS THE MERGER GOING WITH
THE OTHER CAMPUSES?>>IT IS GOING WELL. IT STARTED WITH MY VISITING THE
CAMPUS WITH AN WEEK OF WHEN THE
REGENTS AGREED TO MOVE FORWARD. NOW THEY ARE OFFICIALLY A PART
OF OUR CAMPUS. MIKE: THE CHALLENGE IS
ADDRESSING THE DECLINING
ENROLLMENT. HOW ARE YOU DOING THAT? DENNIS: THERE ARE A COUPLE
THINGS. WE ARE LOOKING AT DEVELOPING
SPECIFICALLY APPLICABLE ACADEMIC
PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT BUSINESS
AND INDUSTRY IN THOSE AREAS. FOR EXAMPLE, WE ARE IN THE
PROCESS OF PLANNING TO DELIVER
AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMING THAT IS
RELEVANT TO THE DAIRIES AND
OTHER AGRICULTURE INDUSTRIES. IN A COUNTY A FEW MILES FROM
WISCONSI DELLS, WE ARE
DEVELOPING TO YOUR HOSPITALITY
PROGRAMS AND BUSINESS PROGRAMS
THERE THAT SHOULD ATTRACT
STUDENTS AND BUSINESSES THAT WILL BE INTERESTED IN
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. MIKE: THE DECLINING ENROLLMEN
ISSUE WAS AN ISSUE FOR THE
TWO-YEAR CAMPUSES BUT IT IS FOR
A NUMBER OF FOR YOUR CAMPUSES,
INCLUDING PLATTEVILLE. HOW IMPORTANT IS THE ENROLLMENT
ISSUED TO THE FUTURE OF BILL AND
OTHER UNIVERSITIES? DENNIS THE ENROLLMENT ISSUES
ARE AT ITS CORE BECAUSE THAT IS
THE PREDOMINANT WAY WE ARE
FUNDED. WE RECEIVE, DEPENDING ON HOW YOU
COUNT, 10% OF YOUR ANNUAL
OPERATING BUDGET WITH STATE
SUPPORT AND THE REST HAS TO COME
FROM THE ENROLLMEN OF STUDENTS
ON OUR CAMPUSES SO IT IS IMPORTANT. THE CHALLENGES THERE ARE FEWER
— CHALLENGE IS THERE ARE FEWER
18-YEAR-OLD HIGH SCHOOL
GRADUATES PARTICULARLY FROM
EARLY AREAS, S — RURAL AREAS,
SO INTEGRATING TO YOUR CAMPUSES IN OUR UNIVERSITY HAS HEIGHTENED
MY AWARENESS OF THE NEED TO
ENGAGE WITH K-12 TO GET A HIGHER
PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS PURSUING
HIGHER EDUCATION. MIKE YOU HAVE TALKED ABOUT THE
BELIEF THE U SYSTEM HAS TO BE
AFFORDABLE FOR STUDENTS AND YET
WE HAD A TUITION FREEZE AND
UNIVERSITIES LIKE YOURS ARE
RELIANT LIKE TUITION AND FEES TO PAY THE BILLS. HOW LONG CAN YOU COULD — YOU
CONTINUE WITH A TUITION FREEZE? DENNIS: WE WOULD BE MISTAKEN IF
WE TIED OUR ECONOMIC, FISCAL
SURVIVAL SOLELY THROUGH TUITION. OUR STATE HAS COME FROM MODEST
MEANS. 40% OF OUR STUDENTS ARE THE
FIRST GENERATION OF FAMILY TO GO
TO COLLEGE. THE SUPPORT OF THE STATE HAS
GONE UP. THAT IS IMPORTANT. THE TUITION QUESTION IS
SOMETHING WE HAVE TO THINK ABOUT
BECAUSE I SEE STUDENTS WORKING
20 AND 30 HOURS A WEEK SO I AM
SENSITIVE THAT — WHAT WOULD BE
THE APPROPRIATE TIME AND AMOUNT OF ANY TUITION INCREASE THAT
MIGHT COME DOWN THE LINE. MIKE: CHANCELLOR, YOU ARE
FAMILIAR WITH STORIES THAT HAVE
BEEN DONE ABOUT UNIVERSITY OF
WISCONSIN’S STEVENS POINT. THEY HAVE MADE CHANGES TO
CURRICULUM TO ADDRESS
CHALLENGES. YOU ARE AT A CAMPUS WERE
ENGINEERING IS A BIG DRIVER AND
YOU ARE PROUD OF YOUR PROGRAM
AND THERE IS GREAT DEMAND. IS THERE ANYTHING YOU CAN DO IN
TERMS OF CURRICULUM TO ADDRESS
THE ENROLLMENT ISSUE, TO MAKE IT
ATTRACTIVE, ARE YOU — OR ARE
YOU DOING THE RIGHT THINGS? DENNIS: WE CAN’T NOT LOOK AT
WHAT OF THE PROGRAM OFFERS WE
MA THAT STILL BUILD ON THE
STRENGTHS WE HAVE. WE HAVE LOOKED INTO
COLLABORATING WITH OTHER
INSTITUTIONS LIKE UW MADISON TO
SEE IF WE CAN ASSIST IN
PROVIDING THE WORKHOUSE —
WORKFORCE HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS NEED. WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE
CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TO THINK
ABOUT THE WAYS WE CAN SUPPORT. WE HAVE EXPANDED OUR SAFETY
MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS. THERE ARE WAYS WE HAVE TO STAY
INTO AND WITH BUSINESS AND
INDUSTRY TO MAKE SURE WE ARE
PROVIDING WORKFORCE AND
MARKETING OUR PROGRAMS IN WAY
THAT APPEALS TO STUDENTS. SO THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT IS THE
VALUE OF EDUCATION THEY GET A
PLATTEVILLE. MIKE MENTIONED THE RETURN
INVESTMENT ON YOUR DEGREE FROM
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
PLATTEVILLE IS THE STRONGEST IN
THE STATE. MIKE DENNIS SHIELDS, GOOD TO
HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. COMING UP NEXT, A LOOK AHEAD TO
THE STATE’S NEXT BIG ELECTION,
WHICH MIGHT BE HERE SOONER THAN