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Education

UW System President Wants Alignment with State Needs

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Pres. Ray Cross wants the UW System to consider reducing the number of credits needed for graduation and the need for elective courses.

The system president outlined his plan before the UW Board of Regents on Friday.

He says Wisconsin's universities must respond to the state's workforce needs, by making sure students have access to the core courses they need. Employers here report shortages of skilled workers in some sectors, including in engineering and nursing.

Cross says the UW System must also find ways to streamline operations, in order to save money.

While he did not offer specifics to the regents, Cross says changes might make state leaders are willing to grant the system additional funding and more flexibility.

In response to the system president's outline, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos released a statement, commending Cross for being 'pro-active in tackling issues."

"Once fully implemented, it is my hope that the reforms will reduce the time it takes for students to graduate and increase the time that professors are in the classroom teaching the future leaders of the state.

"We also must see a renewed focus on expanding the degrees in high demand fields to not only meet the needs of Wisconsin businesses, but also help our economy grow," Vos wrote.