Below are answers related to the UW Colleges and Extension restructuring proposal. We will continue to update this webpage as new information becomes available. If you do not see your answer here, please feel free to submit your questions about the proposal online.

General

Why restructure UW Colleges and UW-Extension?

The purpose of this restructure is to keep campuses open and expand access to higher education by leveraging the strength of our four-year institutions at a time when overall enrollments at UW Colleges are declining.  The primary objectives of integrating UW Colleges with four-year and research institutions include:

  • Expanding access to higher education by offering more courses at the two-year campuses
  • Identifying and reducing barriers to transferring credits within the UW System
  • Maintaining affordability by continuing existing tuition levels post-integration for courses currently offered at the two-year institutions
  • Further standardizing and regionalizing administrative operations and services to more efficiently use resources
  • Leveraging resources and shared talent at our institutions to get more students into and through the educational pipeline successfully, better aligning the university to meet Wisconsin’s projected workforce needs

Does the proposal call for closing any UW Colleges campus?

No, all campuses will remain open.  This goal is to manage the demographic, enrollment, and financial challenges the two-year campuses face while maintaining a sustainable, viable presence in communities throughout Wisconsin.

Which two-year campus is assigned to which four-year or research institution?

Two-year institutions will be integrated with four-year and research institutions. UW Colleges Online will be integrated into the operations of UW System Administration.  Please see the Proposed Restructuring Map pdf .

 

UW COLLEGES PROPOSED CAMPUS STRUCTURE

Effective July 1, 2018

UW Colleges Campus UW Four-Year Institution
UW-Barron County UW-Eau Claire
UW-Manitowoc

UW-Marinette

UW-Sheboygan

UW-Green Bay

 

UW-Washington County

UW-Waukesha

UW-Milwaukee
UW-Fond du Lac

UW-Fox Valley

UW-Oshkosh
UW-Baraboo/Sauk County

UW-Richland

UW-Platteville
UW-Marathon County

UW-Marshfield/Wood County

UW-Stevens Point
UW-Rock County UW-Whitewater

Where are the divisions within UW-Extension being assigned?

Integrating Cooperative Extension with UW-Madison is consistent with the practice in many other states, including Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Integration of the following divisions of UW-Extension into UW System Administration would recognize and develop their statewide role:

  • Division of Business and Entrepreneurship (DBE)
  • Broadcasting and Media Innovations (BAMI) including Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Continuing Education, Outreach and E-learning (CEOEL) including UW Flexible Option

 

UW-EXTENSION PROPOSED STRUCTURE

Effective July 1, 2018

UW-Extension Cooperative Extension

UW-Extension Conference Centers

UW-Madison
Business and Entrepreneurship Division

Broadcasting and Media Innovations (BAMI) including Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio

Continuing Education, Outreach and E-learning (CEOEL) including UW Flexible Option

UW System Administration

How will the UW-Extension restructuring affect 4-H?

4-H is an important resource for Wisconsin communities, and it will continue throughout the state. The Cooperative Extension Division of UW-Extension will become part of UW-Madison.

When would the restructuring of UW Colleges and UW-Extension go into effect?

The restructuring proposal will come before the Board of Regents in November seeking approval to proceed with implementation planning. The proposal calls for the restructure to go into effect on July 1, 2018 – there will be no changes prior to this date. Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 academic programs will continue as normal.

What is the next step in the proposal process?

The next step is to bring the idea before the Board of Regents at the November 9, 2017, meeting to see if they give approval to proceed with implementation planning.

What criteria were used in pairing two-year campuses with four-year and research institutions?

A variety of factors were examined including geographic proximity, transfer rates, existing partnerships, and programmatic compatibility.

What will the name of the campus be after July 1, 2018?

This will be determined during the implementation phase if the Board of Regents approves the proposal in November 2017.

Will you work with shared governance on the proposal?

The first step was making a decision to put forth a proposal for restructuring, and our next step is to move into the planning and design phase, pending Board of Regents approval in November. We value the input of our faculty, staff and students and they will have a voice in the process.

What kind of cost savings will this achieve?

The UW System has been engaged in ongoing consolidation and streamlining efforts as part of its Commitment to Operational Reform and Excellence (CORE) project. The intersection of the CORE project and the restructuring of UW Colleges and Extension will allow for even greater standardization of processes across campuses and the regionalization of services. This will have a long-term impact that will generate savings due to greater operational efficiencies, while improving the services provided to students, faculty, and staff.

What support services are being streamlined? Will I have to go to a four-year institution to receive services, such as career counseling or student advising?

A goal of the restructuring is to improve services provided to students, faculty, and staff. The exact configuration of services long-term will be determined during implementation planning, pending Regent approval at the November 2017 meeting.

What were the challenges that led to this proposal?

There were a combination of different factors that led to this proposal:

  • Enrollment: There has been a 32% decline in the number of full-time equivalent students at UW- Colleges since 2010.
  • Budget: UW Colleges has already done a great deal of restructuring to help manage declining enrollments and budget reductions, and we thank all who may have been involved or already affected by those efforts. This plan tries to address the longer term financial and enrollment challenges at the two-year institutions.
  • Economy: There is a need for closer alignment between research and practice as we help the state meet its broader economic needs.

What is going to happen to the foundations affiliated with the two-year institutions?

Foundations are independent entities that exist to support the university, and it is expected this alumni support of each two-year campus will continue.

How can I provide more detailed feedback?

Continue to submit your question about the proposal online. We will continue to update our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on a regular basis as new information becomes available.

Students

I am a current UW Colleges student. Will I still be able to take classes at my campus?

Yes. You will not see any changes before July 1, 2018. After that date, some course names may change to align with the affiliated campus. We are committed to making the transition as smooth as possible for students. The goal is to actually offer more courses at the integrated two-year campuses, so that students will have more choices provided by the four-year or research institution.

How will my tuition be affected after July 1, 2018?

Post-integration, we will maintain existing tuition levels for classes currently offered at the two-year institutions to keep them affordable for students and families.

Will my financial aid be affected?

No changes are expected in the financial aid packages currently processed and awarded.

I am graduating soon. Are there any changes for me?

  • Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 graduates: academic programs will continue as normal.
  • Fall 2018 graduates: Starting with fall 2018, your diploma will reflect the name of the four-year or research institution affiliated with your campus.

Can I still transfer to other UW four-year institutions? Or do I have to attend the four-year institution associated with my two-year campus?

Students will still be able to transfer between all UW System institutions, just as you can today, if you meet the institution’s requirements. One of the major goals of this proposal is to make transferring credits easier within the UW System.

What is going to happen to the guaranteed transfer program?

The guaranteed transfer programs will continue to be honored from the two-year campus to the main campus. We are also committed to improving transfer to all comprehensive and research institutions.

I am a current student working toward meeting the requirements of the Badger Promise program. How will the restructuring affect that?

Any student currently enrolled at UW Colleges who is already working towards meeting the requirements of the Badger Promise transfer agreement will still be eligible for the transfer, as well as the financial support aspects of the Badger Promise program. Further details will be worked out during the implementation phase.

Will more courses be offered at the two-year campuses?

The goal is to offer more courses at the integrated campuses, so that students will have more choices provided by the four-year or research institution.

What is going to happen with the athletics programs at the two-year institutions?

If the proposal is approved by the Board of Regents, the UW System will work with the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletics Conference (WIAC) and the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) to determine the structure of student athletics at the comprehensive and integrated campuses.

How will student governance be affected by the restructuring?

Per Wisconsin State law, students determine how they are organized at each campus (s. 36.09 (5), Wis. Stats). Student governance leaders will be asked to determine how they would best like to be organized moving forward. This conversation would occur as part of the implementation planning process.

How will student organizations at the two-year institutions be affected by the restructuring?

Student life is an integral part of the college experience, and funding from student segregated fees at those campuses will continue to support student organizations after they are integrated.

I am a UW Colleges alum. Where should I go to for my transcript and other records?

UW Colleges alumni should contact their alma mater for their transcript and other records.

What will happen to collaborative programs between two-year campuses UW institutions that are not being integrated under the proposal?

Successful collaborative partnerships and programs should continue, regardless of whether a UW institution and a two-year campus are affiliated post-integration. We will continue to encourage and build upon innovative programs that enable student success.

Faculty & Staff

Will there be layoffs?

This proposal was created to improve access to higher education and maintain the UW System’s presence in communities throughout the state. The proposal was not developed with job reductions as a central principle. Our goal is to determine how we can ensure a sustainable, successful future for our two-year campuses. Many institutions have already been managing the fiscal effects of enrollment declines and budgetary constraints, and those challenges will continue moving forward.

I am a UW Colleges employee. Do I become a member of the receiving institution or do I maintain a UW Colleges or UW-Extension identity?

Employees at UW Colleges and UW-Extension will become an employee of the receiving institution.

Will there be salary adjustments for two-year campus employees as a result of being integrated with four-year and research institutions?

Compensation-related issues will be examined during the implementation process.

Will my transfer of employment affect my benefits?

The state employee benefit package will remain the same.

Will my transfer of employment from one institution to another affect my creditable years of service in the Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS)?

No. Your WRS creditable service and continuous service date will not be affected.

Will there be buyouts/voluntary separations?

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program (VSIPs) are not planned as a direct result of this proposal, but have been planned or executed at almost every UW institution during the last several years due to budgetary constraints.

Will faculty be required to teach at multiple campuses?

This will be examined further during the implementation phase if the Board of Regents approves the proposal in November.

How will current split faculty appointments between two UW college campuses change?

This issue will be examined further during the implementation phase if the Board of Regents approves the proposal.

How is the University going to handle UW Colleges and UW-Extension employees who do not have a permanent immigration status?

The UW System is carefully researching this matter with a goal of ensuring a smooth transition for all faculty and staff. The UW System will contact individual employees affected by immigration issues directly.

Property

Is additional housing planned at the two-year institutions after they become integrated campuses?

No additional housing is being currently planned but if enrollment improves dramatically, this will be considered.

What happens with the buildings at the two-year institutions?

The land and buildings on which the Colleges are operated are owned by counties and municipalities. The land and buildings are subject to long-term leases with the UW System. This restructuring should not have any effect on that arrangement.