UW Budget Cuts Impact Two-Year Colleges

Dec 9, 2015

Earlier this week, faculty at UW-Milwaukee demanded more parity in how the state of Wisconsin funds higher education here versus at the UW-Madison campus. Budgets have been extremely tight at public universities across the state in the wake of a tuition freeze and the significant state funding cuts in the biennial budget.

That’s especially the case at the sometimes overlooked two-year colleges in the UW system, such as UW-Waukesha and UW-Sheboygan. A major administrative restructuring took place this fall, which Dan Simmons wrote about in the December issue of Milwaukee Magazine, called Hard Lessons.

"Students now are used to going to a person and a face on each campus, and now to get some of those services, they'll get on a phone or hop online,"Simmons explains.

There are 13 two-year colleges in the UW-System with about 14,000 students attending them. They serve as both a stepping stone into four year institutions and are a common choice for adult students going back to school. However in the new move to become more centralized, 83 jobs will disappear and other supporting jobs such as IT, human resources and admissions will be consolidated regionally or move to central offices in Madison.

"It kind of tests the idea of how much day-to-day influence administrators, especially top administrators, have on campuses. Because that's where the absence will be, and whether that effects students' experience is an open question...we'll see," says Simmons.