PLATTEVILLE — A comprehensive strategy that balances University of Wisconsin System enrollments and resources to best serve students and the state was presented to the Board of Regents for a first reading today at their meeting on the UW-Platteville campus.

“The plan allows us to maintain quality, ensure continued high access rates for Wisconsin high school graduates and expand service to adult students,” said UW System President Katharine C. Lyall. “It also makes use of our new management flexibility which allows institutions to be innovative in providing services that meet the state’s economic development needs.”

She added, “This plan is not a one-size-fits-all enrollment strategy. Each campus has a customized enrollment management plan to reflect the needs of the state and their region. Some campuses anticipate substantial growth, while others will maintain their current enrollment, and a few are planning modest downsizing to align enrollment with resources.”

Enrollment Management 21 (EM-21) is the fourth comprehensive enrollment plan for the UW System since 1987. The UW System began managing its enrollments in the mid-1980’s in order to sustain educational quality in the face of significant budget shortfalls and to use its educational resources more effectively. At that time, some campuses were badly overcrowded and others were underutilized.

The first two enrollment management plans redistributed enrollments across institutions to optimize their capacities and help gradually to bring support per student up to the national average.

“By 1994, enrollment management had enabled us to achieve our goals without closing campuses and without reducing access for Wisconsin high school graduates, which remained above 30 per cent throughout this period,” Lyall said.

The current plan focuses on modest growth at the undergraduate level to maintain the UW System’s traditionally high access to Wisconsin high school graduates, and makes it a priority to increase service to the adult student market in keeping with student demand and state economic development needs.

Overall, the System plan would increase enrollments by about 2,900 full time equivalent students. To achieve these targets, the following institutions are earmarked for growth:

  • UW-Milwaukee, 16 percent
  • UW-River Falls, 11 percent
  • UW-Platteville, 10 percent, and
  • UW Colleges, 9 percent.

Small declines are planned for Green Bay and La Crosse to align resources with enrollments. Stable enrollments or slight growth mark the remaining institutions.

Lyall said, “EM-21 fits the pieces of the puzzle together to show how we will serve the entire state.”

This was a first reading of the EM-21 enrollment management plan, which the Board of Regents will consider for inclusion in the UW System’s 2001-03 state biennial budget request.


Sharyn Wisniewski, UW System
(608) 262-6448