“We are now at a crossroads where demand in some locations is far less than the capacity we built and maintain”

Tommy Thompson

When I was UW System president, I asked whether our facilities, personnel and educational offerings were making the best use of taxpayer funds. I argued that they were not, and called for a blue-ribbon commission to recommend a better way to deploy and fund statewide higher education, This is particularly important because the number of college-age people in the state is projected to decline.

I renew that call and point to two situations in support of my position.

Washington County officials are seeking a solution in West Bend where the campuses of UW-Milwaukee at Washington County and Moraine Park Technical College are separated by only a couple miles. UW enrollment there has significantly declined, but Moraine Park enrollment has remained robust. Of more concern, the West Bend School District today has 500 seniors but only 350 kindergartners.