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March 21, 2023

1/5/2023 9:42:00 AM
The Rumored Demise of UW-PR

Dear Editor,
The UW System has promised a proposal for UW Platteville Richland. This is welcome news, and we are hopeful that they will cooperate with us.
However, the annexation of Richland campus to UW Platteville reduced by 55% our financial support from both UW System and UW Platteville. Our Dean's position, a recruiter, 11 of 18 faculty members, Student Services staff, the International Coordinator, the Continuing Education Director--similarly all gone. We've also lost the marketing and strategic plan, and Youth Options and Academic Alliance programs were ended. As one of the UW Colleges, we were the third largest institution within the system, and especially important for this poor rural area, we had the lowest cost per student for the UW System.
The campus has tremendous community support, including from our Foundation, a leader among all 13 colleges. Being near Madison in a rural setting with a 134-acre campus and a 192-acre wooded and tillable farm for campus use, we are ideally set to be associated with UW Madison's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Nearby are large farms associated with Organic Valley. These features, along with our modern labs on campus, would provide ideal space for research in many areas of agriculture and environmental studies.
Richland Campus has been a hub for International students since 1986, most of whom started here and transferred to UW Madison. Our faculty and staff all had professional training on how best to support students from different cultures, and the community hosted and mentored them. We brought the USA to them and they brought the world to us.
We have multiple attributes valuable to higher education. The campus is located in a beautiful environment that supports the Wisconsin Idea, exemplifying how all colleges could be revived and offer what the Regents want: affordability and accessibility.
Kay Ziegahn, Richland Center, WI

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