Across the nation, public universities are struggling with a lack of state funding – which may be detrimental to your education – and your future. With most tuition and fees already capped in Wisconsin, schools must get creative with their resources. Getting creative often leads to expanding classroom sizes, diminishing resources and/or cutting programs… and no one wants that!
To offset the $4 million in budget cuts, UWGB Chancellor Gary Miller’s strategy is to increase enrollment. Currently, UWGB is one of only two schools in the Wisconsin system growing in enrollment.
The Miller Strategy
Enrollment for the 2017 school is the highest ever achieved for UW- Green Bay. Eric Arneson, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Climate said Chancellor Miller’s initiative is daring, bold and necessary. “We want to create access and opportunity for students to come here,” he said. “We do this mostly with continued program expansion such as increasing opportunities for high school students to receive college credit.”
The enrollment initiative and budget cuts have also created tremendous challenges for faculty and students. Staff is being asked to do more with less than ever before; most staff hasn’t received a raise in more than a decade. Jon Shelton, professor of Democracy and Justice Studies, gave an example of positions at the university, especially support positions that continue to be unfunded and unfilled: “Larger enrollment results in an increase in staff workloads and less courses being able to be taught, on top of a larger classroom.”
Selena Deer, an RA on campus, also explained that in an effort to increase students living on campus, administration over-booked housing for the 2017 school resulting in some students without a place to stay and forcing resident life to find new ways of accommodation.
Increase Support; Finalize Merger; be a good Neighbor
The Chancellor also plans to increase private support, decrease the campus carbon footprint, and finalize the merger between UWGB, UW – Manitowoc, UW – Sheboygan and UW- Marinette. Arneson explained, “Funding and education should be utmost priority, because that’s the driver for the economy and success of our community.”
If you have some creative ideas on university funding, talk to your legislators; funding starts there.
A teaching assistant in Org COMM, Morgan Davis is not yet sure where she’s going after graduation this spring, but she knows the value of a COMM Major no matter where she goes. She’s leaning toward Law School or… Who knows/Stay tuned.
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