UW-Eau Claire on board with proposed UW System restructuring pla - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UW-Eau Claire on board with proposed UW System restructuring plan

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - A restructuring plan could bring major changes to the UW System, having two-year schools like UW-Barron County become a part of 4-year schools like UW-Eau Claire.

The plan calls for merging all Wisconsin's 13 two-year schools with the state's eight four-year campuses.

UW System President Ray Cross said the proposal came about primarily as a way to increase enrollment. At UW-Barron County, for example, enrollment dropped from 484 full-time students in 2010 to 303 in 2016.

Cross said the proposal will avoid closing any campuses, and chancellors across Wisconsin are on board, including UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt.

"Candidly, I was very glad to hear their campus would be joined with ours. As I take a look at UW-Barron County, their course work aligns beautifully with the coursework that we offer on this campus. UW-Barron County is one of our top transfer institutions year after year," Chancellor Schmidt said.

He said many details are still up in the air, including the name of UW-Barron. However, he threw out the name "UW-Eau Claire Barron Campus."

In a statement to News 18, Brian Becker, the regional director of communications for UW Colleges, said in part:

"Our two-year campuses, such as UW-Barron County, are a valuable launch pad to UW-Eau Claire and the UW System's other four-year institutions. These changes will help make that transition even smoother for our students."

A board will vote on whether to move forward with the restructuring proposal in November. If approved, it will go into effect July 2018.

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