I was amused by this letter to the editor in the Washington County Daily News. Look, I get wanting to use events to credit/blame the party you like/don’t, but how, exactly, would more funding have for the universities have made Wisconsinites have more kids 20 years ago? The campus has less than 270 FTE students. How barren does it need to get before the taxpayers can cut it loose?
To the editor: The recent announcement of UWM Chancellor Mark A. Mone that UWWC would discontinue in-person learning after June 30, 2024, is both deplorable and predictable. It is deplorable cutting off a readily available, inexpensive window into the UW System for residents of Washington County. It is predictable because our gerrymandered state Legislature has not backed the UW System for years. It is totally disingenuous of Rep. Rick Gundrum and Sen. Duey Stroebel, who consistently voted to cut the UW System’s budget requests whenever they had a chance, to suggest, as Gundrum recently did in this newspaper, that other factors made UWWC’s mission out of date. What turned UWWC’s existence into mission impossible was systematic underfunding of the state’s stellar university system’s budget, joined with a 10-year undergraduate tuition freeze started by the Legislature in 2013. The canary in the coal mine is the apparent demise of the state’s two-year colleges.
I lay the floundering and ultimate sinking of UWWC directly at the feet of the Legislature, including or own Rep. Gundrum and Sen. Stroebel. The citizens of Washington County deserve better. Stop trying to sink the UW System, or we will truly be the flyover zone with little to keep people in or attract people to our state. Maybe, just maybe, it’s not too late to save what remains of the system of two-year state colleges, and indeed the UW System itself, but it looks to be too late for UWWC. That is a colossal pity. Any cobbling with Moraine Park is a fig leaf in my estimation.
Carol Pouros West Bend