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County resolution will seek aid for UW-Richland
County resolution will seek aid for UW-Richland

By Matt Johnson

The Richland County Board passed a resolution at its meeting Dec. 13 seeking avenues to bolster severely depleted enrollment at the University of Wisconsin-Richland.

“No. 1” on the list sought to help UW-Richland is returning a full-time enrollment recruiter to the campus.

Enrollment at UW-Richland was more than 400 students in the 2012-2013 school year. At almost the same time, the UW-System moved its recruiter from UW-Richland to be part of a team of recruiters based at UW-Platteville. Since that time, enrollment at UW-Richland has fallen to approximately 60 students.

The education committee of the county board passed the resolution to the county board.

“There were people in the audience specifically for this agenda item and chairman (Marty) Brewer moved up the agenda item so it would be the first order of business the county board dealt with when it got to the discussion point in the agenda,” county administrator Clint Langreck said. “...Ultimately the resolution says the county board wants to keep the branch campus.”

The “whereas” section of the resolution points to several areas in which the UW-System has made cuts at UW-Richland that appear to have been parallel to declining enrollment.

According to the resolution, the budget for UW-Richland has fallen from $3.1 million in 2012-2013 to $1.4 million for the current 2022-2023 school year. The resolution states that if the UW-Richland campus budget kept up with inflation after 2012-2013 it would be $4 million in 2022.

According to the resolution, the UW-Richland campus has a direct economic positive impact of $7 million annually on the Richland County area economy.

In addition to seeking a full-time recruiter working at UW-Richland, the resolution asks that the UW-System increase its budget line-item spending at the college to $4 million.

The resolution was to be distributed to a wide number of state elected officials and UW-System officials.

On Nov. 22, UW-System president Jay Rothman issued a directive to UW-Platteville Interim Chancellor Tammy Evetovich to “...develop a plan to adjust … the offerings at the Richland campus by transitioning the in-person degree instructional programs at Richland to the main UW-Platteville campus.”

This comment spurred an uprising in the UW-Richland campus and greater community that led to a group of students presenting a 1,400-signature petition to the UW Board of Regents earlier this month asking the UW-System to support and grow the UW-Richland program instead of cutting it.

“A college campus in our local community gives working people and their kids the opportunity to attend a local university so they can gain an education and then earn a better living,” according to the resolution.

The county board was presented with a discussion item on formation of an ad hoc committee to determine contingent use and/or disposition of UW campus buildings in Richland County. Langreck said that issue was passed on to the county board's rules and strategic planning committee.

(Matt Johnson can be reached online at