Web Extra:  Cross: Make UW Colleges branch campuses

Web Extra: Cross: Make UW Colleges branch campuses

October 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs

back on the program. Ray: thanks, good to be here. Mike: You talk about aging demographics, but my question is how does merging campuses change that? Ray: It certainly doesn’t impact the birth rate, which would obviously change demographics, what it does do is align is better to retain campuses in communities that are struggling with demographics. As you probably know the projected 18 to 64-year- old range of people, that is declining and — I shouldn’t say declining, it is flat. I think the growth is expected to be about .4%. How do we adjust and reorganize to bring more programs to those communities? Not just retain what were doing, but expand services and access at a time when resources are perhaps the most challenged. The decline in enrollment directly impacts their revenues. We are increasingly tuition dependent and they feel it first. They are on the front line of this demographic change. Mike: Would you anticipate that merging campuses would increase? Enrollment Ray: In this way. More students need more basilar degrees in these institutions are transfer institutions. We are trying to manage access by expanding the programs we bring to those campuses structurally. I expect to see more tackle laureate — baccalaureate degrees serving these communities. It expands the reach of four-year institutions directly into these communities. We may not grow enrollment, but hopefully we will grow for your graduates through this process. Mike: Let me be blunt about this. Are we to incurring around the edges? you have some of these two year campuses where the population is 50% smaller than it was in 2010, enrollment is down 32%. Did you give thought to maybe we have to close some of these campuses, may the business model doesn’t work anymore? Ray: Certainly we did. We looked at closing campuses as options. Mike: Two and four-year? Ray: Just too. That just isn’t a good option to those communities are already struggling given demographic changes, the presidents of universities — the presence of universities in those communities is so important to their future. We are committed to that. How do we provide adequate services, programs, courses to meet the needs of folks in that community without pulling out and that is part of the challenge. Restructuring, treating that as branch campuses and/or centers that allow the university to expand what they offer is an effort to address that. Mike: Are there cost savings, significant cost savings and that? If so, how do you do that? I assume you must have some idea if you’re talking about streamlining, reducing staff. You must have some idea of how may people are affected by that? Ray: I wish I did. Let me speak to what logically should low out of this. The two-year colleges have already done a wonderful job of consolidating some administrative services, support activities, human resources, I.T., watching, etc.. You want to expa that throughout the university in a greater way. Spend less money on the support services in terms of administrative support services and shift resources to the classroom. We think we can do more and more of that. It is part of what we are referring to as reform agenda. This fits nicely into that. There will be savings there. It is hard to predict him a consolidate, streamline, or use standardized processes, you do achieve efficiencies, hopefully you also improve effectiveness here to Mike: What is being done is being watched all over the country. There was a response from the executive of education Council — he said reforms are reasonable and appropriate, but he goes on to say it is a recognition that the state of Wisconsin is not going to have robust a system of education as it had in the past. What is your thought on that? Ray: I differ with him. It’s not going to be all things to all people everywhere. Were going to have to find new ways of delivering support and providing courses and programs without all of the administrative structure. I think that is what he is referring to. We won’t be as “robust,” but I find that to be contradictory, because in our world were trying to expand the third year and fourth year coursework on two year campuses. Mike: There has been some reaction that is somewhat muted. People have not come out and said it is an awful idea, but people have questions. One thing you do hdear — hear is Wisconsin is about the idea of shared governance, and we feel like we were surprised by this. We didn’t know this big of a change was being discussed. In retrospect was there anything you could have done differently to involve faculty and students in the decision? Ray: First of all, that is a true statement. Because We did work on this without bringing a lot of input in, but we were securing information from different research groups, particularly on demographics, impact on enrollment trends, what actions have been done in the past, what is being done in other states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, elsewhere. And then we did speak to business leaders and other community leaders, folks around the state in different ways, but we were also hearing unprompted kinds of responses. you need to do something about this structure. This has to change, this is not a long-term sustainable structure. So, from my perspective I think it was important to say, here is where we are going. Here is the goal. Here is why. Now I need your help. Let’s work together to pull this into a very workable and doable process within this timeframe. Mike: You’re going to do listening sessions with faculty and students? What is your plan? Ray: I think there will be a lot of engagement in how to we do this, how do we get from here to there, what are the things we have to be concerned about, what do we have to do to make it work? The implementation teams will be formed quickly, we will engage those folks as well as community members. These communities own these facilities. That’s important for us to respect and retain that. Mike: I did see some say that they are concerned they are giving up local control. They are worried — They believe they have a better sense of their community of how to meet the needs of people who live there, than perhaps aligning with a larger university some miles away. Ray: I think it will be no different than what they currently have. It is becoming more local, because Eau Claire is closer than Madison and that is the change. I spent time on the phone with those folks, once they understood the expanded opportunities in the partnership, they were excited about that. I think there is some communication issues that we have to keep them indicating. — communicating, one of the reasons I’m on your show, Mike. Mike: How does this factor in for a faculty member? Somebody at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, will — a tier one research institution, will faculty members be teaching at UW Waukesha or Washington County, how does it practically work? Ray: A lot of it is yet to determined, but one of the principals in the merger that is really important is that the faculty at the two-year campuses that have tenure already must be merged into the disciplines, the departments, with a tenure at the receiving institution. That is more, located at and are one like Milwaukee. I agree and understand that. I think were going to have to act to do that. I think they will be surprised at the credentials and capability, and historical publishing, the things they have done. I think they will beef surprised at the quality. I think they have to work it out within guidelines. I don’t think it will be as difficult as people think. The second part of your question will Milwaukee faculty be teaching at Waukesha and vice versa? That’s going to be determined by enrollment and what happens. I would suspect there would be programs that go from Milwaukee to Waukesha at the third and fourth year of level and how those are taught will be determined Ivy the Provost, the Dean’s that make that happen. The enrollment, I believe is going to drive a lot of these decisions. Mike: Red Cross — ray cross, it is always good to have you. Ray: Thanks, Mike.