The Higher Learning Commission has approved the University of Wisconsin System’s plan to restructure UW Colleges and UW-Extension.
The 13 two-year campuses formerly known as UW Colleges will be joined as branch campuses with seven of the UW System’s four-year comprehensive or research institutions. With the move, UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac will join UW-Oshkosh, while UW-Marinette, UW-Manitowoc and UW-Sheboygan will be aligned with UW-Green Bay.
UW-Madison will now administer Broadcasting and Media Innovation (which includes Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio), as well as Cooperative Extension, UW Conference Centers and the Department of Labor Education, all formerly part of UW-Extension. UW System Administration will administer the Division of Business and Entrepreneurship; Continuing Education, Outreach and E-Learning (which will incorporate UW Colleges Online); Wisconsin Humanities Council; and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Service.
Accreditation, administrative oversight and reporting structures also formally transferred on July 1.
“Our primary concern is ensuring the UW System is in a position to provide greater access, affordability, and opportunity for our students and the state of Wisconsin,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “To help meet Wisconsin’s growing needs, it is imperative we take action now and be increasingly bold in our efforts to get more students into and through the educational pipeline.”
The UW System has been working closely with UW Colleges, UW-Extension, and the four-year UW receiving institutions to ensure a smooth transition for students and employees. Restructuring is expected to take place in two phases over the next two years. During Phase 1 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019), the two-year campuses will continue to function largely as they do now, while preparing to internally integrate administrative functions. During Phase 2 (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020), the receiving institutions will more fully integrate the two-year campuses.