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UW-Stout: Student government opposes merging UW-Barron County with UW-Eau Claire
11/2/2017

Contact: Doug Mell, Executive Director of Communications and External Relations
715-232-1198
melld@uwstout.edu


Menomonie, Wisconsin — University of Wisconsin-Stout student government, the University Student Senate of the Stout Student Association, has passed a resolution asking the UW System Board of Regents to reconsider a plan to merge the two-year campus at UW-Barron County with the four-year campus at UW-Eau Claire as part of a sweeping restructuring of the UW System.

The UW System Board of Regents is tentatively scheduled to vote on the plan Thursday, Nov. 9.

The Stout Student Association is an independent student organization; University Communications is distributing the resolution, and an accompanying one on shared governance, at the request of SSA President Alex Vernon. President Vernon released the following statement with the two resolutions:

“The University Student Senate of the Stout Student Association passed two resolutions on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, regarding the UW System proposed restructuring. As stated in the resolutions, we express our sincere disappointment in the handling of this proposed restructure and are asking for this proposal to be postponed for one meeting to review identified problems and potential solutions in a thoughtful and collaborative way. We ask that you read the attached resolutions that represent the voices of the 9,619 UW-Stout students.”

Please email ssapresident@uwstout.edu or call the SSA office at 715-232-2100 for further comments.

Here is the text of the first resolution:

Title: Proposal of UW-Stout & UW-Barron County Merger

Whereas, University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross proposed a major restructure plan of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension on October 11, 2017;

Whereas, UW-Barron County has been designated to UW-Eau Claire without the due process or consultation required to successfully execute a merger of this size;

Whereas, UW-Barron County and UW-Stout have a preexisting history of collaboration and cooperation to provide a transfer pipeline truly built around the needs and wants of the students;

Whereas, UW-Stout has a longer history with the Barron County campus than any other UW institution, dating back to the mid-1960s when the campus opened as the Barron County campus of Stout State University;

Whereas, the first Stout State classes were offered at Barron County in 1966, and the Barron County campus remained a part of Stout until the creation of the merged UW System in 1972;

Whereas, the students of UW-Barron County and UW-Stout have mutually agreed that together they would create a strong, successful community capable of supporting the cities and counties that they sit in for years to come;

Whereas, the needs of industry in Northern Wisconsin will demand more engineering graduates in the years to come;

Whereas, the mission of the UW System clearly states that its role in our state is to "Serve and stimulate society" and by expanding the engineering programs’ reach, through the Robert F. Cervenka School of Engineering, to UW-Barron County by merging UW-Stout with UW-Barron County we would be fulfilling that mission;

Be it therefore resolved, we, the U.S.S. of the S.S.A. request that the Board of Regents review the proposed merger and reconsider UW-Barron County's merger with UW-Eau Claire.

Be it therefore resolved, this motion be distributed to Chancellor Bob Meyer, Vice Chancellor Phil Lyons, UW Colleges Chancellor Sandeen, UW-Barron County Administration, Dunn County Board of Supervisors, Barron County Board of Supervisors, State & Regional Press Outlets, UW System President Ray Cross, Board of Regents President John Behling, UW System Board of Regents, and UW-Barron County SGA.

Date acted upon: October 31, 2017 Action: Passed Vote: 28 - 0 - 0 (Yays-Nays-Abstentions)

The second resolution states:

Title: Resolution in Support of Shared Governance Consultation for UW System Restructure

Whereas, University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross proposed a major restructure plan of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension on October 11, 2017;

Whereas, this restructuring plan is significant in size and scope and has the potential to significantly impact the 180,000 students who are enrolled at the 26 UW institutions;

Whereas, students, faculty, staff, administrators, Regents, and county officials were not included on the formulation of this proposal nor given any opportunity to give feedback prior to the announcement;

Whereas, there has been a continuing pattern of top-down decision-making within the UW System Administration and UW System Board of Regents, which does not reflect our strong commitment towards a shared governance decision making process;

Be it therefore resolved, we, the U.S.S. of the S.S.A. implore UW System Administration to remember and practice its mission of "facilitating effective partnerships with other public and private educational institutions and systems, university governance groups, businesses, students, and others, to create shared solutions to emerging challenges," a mission we believe has not been followed regarding this proposal.

Be it therefore resolved, we, the U.S.S. of the S.S.A. request the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents postpone this proposal from their November meeting agenda and;

Be it finally resolved, we, the U.S.S. of the S.S.A. express our disappointment in the handling of this proposed restructuring and appeal to the Board of Regents that they appoint a truly inclusive stakeholder study group to review identified problems and potential solutions in a thoughtful and collaborative way to effect positive, meaningful, and lasting changes.

Be it additionally resolved, this resolution be distributed to Chancellor Bob Meyer, Provost Patrick Guilfoile, Vice Chancellor Phil Lyons, Vice Chancellor Mark Parsons, UW System President Ray Cross, County Boards, State & Regional Press Outlets, Board of Regents President John Behling, UW System Board of Regents, and the UW System Student Body Presidents.

Date acted upon: October 31, 2017 Action: Passed Vote: 28-0-0
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