The merger of the University of Wisconsin two-year schools with the four-year campuses was approved Thursday by the UW-System regents.
This means that UW-Marathon County and UW-Marshfield/Wood County will be a part of UW-Stevens Point. Faculty and leaders of UW-Marathon County shared mixed emotions on the upcoming changes that will go into effect in July, 2018.
"We're all a little sad to see the UW colleges being broken apart in this way because it's an integral part of our community," said Katie Kalish, a professor at UW-Marathon County. "I'm optimistic, we see a lot of potential with moving forward with UW-Stevens Point."
UW officials have cited decreasing enrollment and budget concerns as the reason for the change. Faculty said it shouldn't have an impact on tuition for students even though the schools are merging with a four-year college.
"I think that right now we're all optimistic that tuition is going to stay the same," said Kalish.
Curriculum and program changes aren't clear yet, but decisions will be made in the coming months.
"Eventually the curriculum will be the UW-Stevens Point curriculum, so there will be changes then," said Keith Montgomery, the Regional Executive Officer and Dean for the UW colleges. "It's very possible that UW-Stevens Point might bring some four-year degrees to this campus."
School officials said the transfer process between the different UW schools will be similar to the process before the merger. The biggest thing school leaders in Marathon County want people to know is that the campus will be there even if it's no longer a two-year school.
There has been no talk about layoffs at this point, according to Montgomery.