UW System to end degree programs at UW-Platteville Richland

UW System President Jay Rothman sent a letter to UW-Platteville interim Chancellor Tammy Evetovich saying the time has come to move all Richland degree programs to the main Platteville campus in 2023.

Associated Press

November 22, 2022

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An aerial photo shows several large buildings with multiple sections situated among roads, parking lots and green areas, with hilly farm fields and woods in the background.

The campus of UW-Platteville Richland is located in Richland Center in southwestern Wisconsin. (Credit: UW-Platteville Richland)

AP News

By Todd Richmond, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman ordered UW-Platteville’s chancellor to stop offering degree programs at the school’s Richland campus in the face of declining enrollment.

Rothman sent a letter to UW-Platteville interim Chancellor Tammy Evetovich on Nov. 22 saying only 60 students are currently pursuing degrees at the Richland campus and starting in the 2023-24 academic year all degree programs offered at the branch campus will move to the main campus in Platteville.

“While the University of Wisconsin System remains committed to the branch campuses and providing as broad of access for students as possible, there comes a time when financial pressure and low enrollment makes in-person degree level academic instruction no longer tenable,” Rothman wrote.

He ordered Evetovich to develop a plan by Jan. 15 for transitioning the current students to the Platteville campus or the branch Baraboo campus. He called for her to make “reasonable arrangements” for them, suggesting they could continue to pay Richland tuition levels if they transfer to Platteville or another UW System school. He added that the plan should address faculty and staff as well but didn’t elaborate.

He also said the plan should include ideas for maintaining a presence at the Richland campus, suggesting the school could offer enrichment programs and courses for adult learners or serve other, broader community needs.

“The decision to request the plans as outlined above was not an easy one for obvious reasons, but I ultimately concluded that the status quo is no longer sustainable,” Rothman said in the letter.

Voicemail messages left for UW-Platteville and Richland campus officials on the morning of Nov. 22 weren’t immediately returned.

The Richland campus was once one of the system’s 13 stand-alone two-year schools. Rothman’s predecessor, Ray Cross, merged the system’s two-year schools with its four-year campuses in 2017 in a bid to keep them open despite declining enrollment. Cross believed the merger would make the two-year colleges more attractive to students because the degrees would come from the four-year schools, transfers would be easier and classes would be more convenient.

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