UW president wants to merge four-year, two-year campuses

New UW merger plan looks to boost...

MADISON, Wis. - University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is proposing merging the state's two-year schools with its four-year campuses in effort to boost enrollment.

System officials said in a news release Wednesday that Cross' plan calls for keeping the two-year schools open but making them essentially regional branches of the four-year schools. Students would still earn associate degrees but they would come from the four-year schools.

They say the merger will make more classes available to two-year students, make their degrees more attractive and ease transfers to the four-year schools.

The move is designed to bolster two-year school enrollment, which has dropped 32 percent between 2010 and this fall.

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Chancellor Beverly Kopper said in a news release Wednesday the proposed restructuring of the UW System will strengthen UW-Whitewater’s relationship with the people of Rock County, businesses and community organizations, as well as create new partnerships.

“You have my promise that the administration at UW-Whitewater is committed to making this potential transition as seamless as possible. We will be scheduling a visit soon to meet with faculty, staff and students at UW-Rock County to begin the process of getting acquainted,” Kopper said in the release. “As UW-Whitewater readies itself for a yearlong celebration of our 150th anniversary, we are delighted with the possibility of welcoming the UW-Rock County community to the Warhawk family.”

Cross will present the plan to the Board of Regents next month.

According to the release from Kopper, if approved by the Board of Regents, the change would be effective July 1.

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