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University system president brings “OpportUWnity Tour” to La Crosse campus



One month into a new fall semester, the man in charge of the University of Wisconsin system is optimistic about the immediate future of the state’s campuses. During a visit to the UWL campus on Tuesday, UW president Jay Rothman talked with reporters in La Crosse on Tuesday about a rise in enrollment this year.

“This is the first increase in enrollment that we’ve had since 2014,” said Rothman, “so we’re seeing some upward trajectory. What was really encouraging to me was the number of new students, new freshman students coming into our universities.” Rothman says this year’s freshman class in the system is about 3 per cent larger than a year ago.

Jay Rothman, UW System president, talks on the La Crosse campus during what’s called the OpportUWnity Tour

While visiting UWL as part of a statewide trip called the “OpportUWnity Tour,” Rothman said the universities are important for training workers in fields such as engineering, nursing, and teaching. He wants the state universities to “win the war for talent,” and would like to see increased funding such as what’s going to the state technical schools.

“We’re 42nd in the nation, in terms of our public support of our university system,” he said. “That’s not the Wisconsin that I grew up in, that’s not the Wisconsin I know.”

“I think increasing that funding level will bode well for our state,” said Rothman following his appearance at a Tuesday morning meeting in the UWL Cleary Center.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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