I read with interest last Sunday's State Journal article about University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson’s ideas for the two-year branch campuses in UW System.
My interest is two-pronged: First, I am a resident of Richland Center where UW-Platteville Richland is located. Second, I enjoyed a 42-year career as part of the UW-Richland staff.
Times are different since I retired in 2013, but the mission of the two-year campuses continues to be an important one. The campuses have been severely underutilized for the past several years, ever since the concept of regionalization was implemented. Many thought returning to our roots (Richland started as a branch of Platteville) would be the saving grace for the campus, but that hasn’t proven to be the case.
More elaborate collaboration with our technical college partners could prove beneficial for both institutions. The legacy of higher education in Richland County is an important one to preserve.
Thompson understands small-town Wisconsin. He understands how to negotiate challenges and how to work with a bipartisan group of legislators. I applaud him for his thinking and wish him the best of luck as he works to assure the citizens of our state are served well.