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As I See It

Is UW System ready for changes in higher education?



Higher education, it appears, is at a crossroads. Look no further than what is taking place in the University of Wisconsin System. We learned last week that the UW-Oshkosh satellite campus in Menasha will close next year. I didn’t know they even had a satellite campus in Menasha. This is part of what must be considered a trend. The closing of this campus is the sixth UW satellite campus to either end in-person instruction or close entirely in the last two years. The university cites declining enrollment as the reason. Enrollment on the campus has declined 67% over the past ten years, with fewer than 500 students enrolled in the most recent semester. Projections suggest that enrollment could decline to fewer than 100 soon. That is a lot of buildings for that few students.Closure was the only option. The UW System should see the writing on the wall. This won’t be the last two-year school in the system to close. It is possible some four-year campuses face the same fate. Fewer students are choosing college, at least in-person learning. That trend will no doubt continue. I certainly am not one to belittle the value of higher education, but our current educational models are facing threats like never before and better be ready to respond.

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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  1. Greg Symons

    June 17, 2024 at 5:26 am

    College degrees are revealing to be a farce for the majority. Promises of better employment because of a sheepskin are proved to be a lie. Thousands of students struggle to make debt payments on their overpriced education with careers that don’t pay as well as what tech school grads enjoy. Yes the handwriting is on the wall and many are finally noticing it.

  2. nick

    June 17, 2024 at 7:26 am

    There are many small independent colleges all over the country closing their doors; many of them were founded many decades ago . The Philadelphia Arts College was founded 150 years ago abruptly closed recently.
    This trend will continue for some time with a lot more to come. State colleges and university systems are not immune.
    The cost to run and the uncertainty your degree will mean much are the very obvious main causes. Many college professors will be competing for dwindling number of jobs. Most will have to embark on new professions.

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