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Branch campuses need time to work -- Mary Hoeft

Branch campuses need time to work -- Mary Hoeft

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University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson has an idea for Wisconsin's outstanding two-year universities. He's wondering if they should be combined with the state's technical school system.

As a professor at one of UW System's two-year campus for 49 years, I would like to answer President Thompson's question with a resounding "no."

Please leave the two-year colleges alone.

In 1971, our Rice Lake campus was aligned with UW-Stout. The relationship was strong. Then, a few years later, the two-year campuses became the UW Centers. Then, a few years later, we became the UW Colleges. Then, under President Ray Cross, we were regionally aligned. Then, two years later, Cross recommended alignment with the four-year campuses.

The two-year campuses are "survivors." We have done everything asked of us to make each new alignment work. But now it is time to leave us alone.

My campus is a branch of UW-Eau Claire. The relationship is beginning to flourish. We are getting to know each other and we are growing.

President Thompson: Please give the branch campus system time to work.

Mary Hoeft, Rice Lake

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