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As I See It

UW schools need to sharpen their focus

Scott Robert Shaw

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What will things look like when this is all over? Probably not a lot like they used to. Businesses will adapt to meet the changing marketplace in order to remain viable. And this would be a good opportunity for our public universities to do the same. University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross has wisely started that process. He has sent a letter to all chancellors in the UW System, telling them to refine their mission statements and identities in the wake of declining revenue. Under the order, UW La Crosse and other schools in the system will have to create their own niche. No more trying to be everything to everybody. Right now, many UW campuses offer degrees in the same fields. Is all that duplication necessary? Wouldn’t it be more efficient if one or two schools specialized in nursing, others in engineering, or physical therapy or education or business? With 13 four-year schools in the UW System, it makes sense for each to have its own focus. And UW should work to create a unified system for delivering online classes, as that is likely to be in demand, if not required. This pandemic is forcing many things to change, and in the case of the UW System, they may be changes for the better.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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