Through all of the system changes, quality education has been provided in Wausau since 1933. With the UW Center System becoming the UW Colleges in August of 1997, the institution in Wausau officially became known as the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County.
Growth was happening at UWMC during this time. To accommodate an influx of students, a renovation was began in 1995 and completed in 1997. This renovation built a student union, expanded the library, and updated the administrative area and classrooms. A new Art building was constructed in 2003, offices and a classroom were added onto the current Fieldhouse in 2005, and two floors of the South Hall Science Wing were completed in 2007 (University of Wisconsin-Marathon County, n.d.-a).
Perhaps the shining spot of campus is the UW Center for Civic Engagement building. This $6.8 million undertaking was opened in October, 2010. It is home to the Veninga Theater and Auditorium, Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), and the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy (WIPPS). These unique offerings provide students internship opportunities at a freshman-sophomore university that they may not otherwise experience until their junior or senior year. Other buildings on campus include a planetarium, greenhouse, fitness center, pool, and art studios (University of Wisconsin Colleges, n.d.-e)
(UW Center for Civic Engagement, n.d.)
Part of the purpose of UW-Marathon County, and all UW Colleges, is not just providing quality education, but pathways to further education. The Guaranteed Transfer is an agreement between the UW Colleges and the four-year institutions in the UW System that states students in the UW Colleges will be guaranteed admissions into another UW System institution as a junior. Students need to complete a Declaration of Intent to Participate and must meet certain requirements: earn 54 credits and maintain a certain GPA; 2.8 for Madison, 2.0 for all others (University of Wisconsin Colleges, n.d.-a). With dedicated hard work, students can reach their educational goals.
As always, the goal is to always promote the Wisconsin Idea. To see how this shows up at UW-Marathon County, see the video below.
The major concern for UW-Marathon County is finances. The institution is in year two of the current budget cuts and the next budget proposed by Governor Scott Walker has people worried with the removal of segregated fees. The first round of budget cuts severely impacted Student Affairs and the second round impacted faculty. Concerns are growing that the UW Colleges will struggle to maintain a competitive sophomore-level course load, with the layoffs.
The second concern is related to finances; declining area high school enrollment. If the purpose of the UW Colleges is to provide the local community with education, it still needs the community to want that education enough to attend college. In the last twenty years, the Wausau School District has lost roughly 2,000 student enrollments (Wausau School District, 2016). The decrease of local high school students plus the increase of competition for those students from four-year institutions leads has been an obstacle UW-Marathon County is working to overcome.
I think the biggest reason that UW-Marathon County will survive the current political and financial environment is that it has always done so. Finances have been concerns since the beginning of the days of Extension-Division providing education to farmers. Each time a new system was developed, whether Extension, the UW Center System, the UW System, or the regionalization of the UW Colleges, financial concerns have been met and answered (Bower, 2002). Looking over the history of these institutions was incredibly beneficial to me; I realized that the state of education has always been in flux in Wisconsin. The purpose, the meaning, the delivery, and the oversight has always been changing. Yet, the end goal of providing the Wisconsin Idea to everyone in the state has always remained the same. This gives me hope for a better future, both for UW-Marathon County and its students.
Bower, J.L. (2002). The university of Wisconsin colleges 1919-1997: The Wisconsin idea at work. Friendship, WI: New Past Press, Inc.
Ralph A. McCance and L.H Adolfson [Online image]. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/Content.aspx?dsNav=N:4294963828-4294955414&dsRecordDetails=R:IM41035
Robert M. La Follette Sr. [Online image]. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_M._La_Follette_Sr.
University of Wisconsin Colleges. (n.d.-a) Guaranteed Transfer. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/admissions/transfer/guaranteed-transfer
University of Wisconsin Colleges. (n.d.-b). History of the UW Colleges. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/about/overview/history-uw-colleges
University of Wisconsin Colleges. (n.d.-c). Mission, Goals and Vision of UW Colleges. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/about/overview/mission-goals-and-vision-uw-colleges
University of Wisconsin Colleges. (n.d.-d). UW Colleges announces new regional leadership approach. Retrieved February 17, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/about/news/releases/uw-colleges-announces-new-regional-leadership-approach
University of Wisconsin Colleges. (n.d.-e). UW-Marathon County. Retrieved February 11,2017 from http://uwc.edu/about/campuses/mth
University of Wisconsin Colleges Logo [Online image]. (2017). Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/employees/marketing/brand/downloads/uwc
University of Wisconsin Extension. (n.d.). History of UW-Extension. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://www.uwex.edu/about/uw-extension-history.html
University of Wisconsin Extension Logo [Online image]. (2013) Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://www.uwex.edu/logo/
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (n.d.). The Wisconsin Idea. Retrieved February 17, 2017 from http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsin-idea/
University of Wisconsin-Madison President Charles Van Hise [Online image]. Retrieved February 18, 2017 from http://www.wisc.edu/wisconsin-idea/
University of Wisconsin-Marathon County. (n.d.-a). History. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwmc.uwc.edu/about/overview/history
University of Wisconsin-Marathon County. (n.d.-b). Mission. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from http://uwmc.uwc.edu/about/overview/mission
University of Wisconsin-Marathon County Husky Logo [Online image]. Retrieved February 16, 2017 from http://uwmc.uwc.edu/campus/athletics-recreation/uw-marathon-county-husky-logo
University of Wisconsin System. (n.d.). What is the UW System. Retrieved February 11, 2017 from https://www.wisconsin.edu/about-the-uw-system/
University of Wisconsin System Logo [Online image]. (2017). Retrieved February 11, 2017 from https://www.wisconsin.edu/digital-communication/uw-system-brand-style-guide/logo-seal/
University of Wisconsin System Campuses [Online image]. (2017). Retrieved February 18, 2017 from https://www.wisconsin.edu/libraries/campuses/
UW Center for Civic Engagement [Online image]. Retrieved February 17, 2017 from http://uwc.edu/about/campuses/mth
Wausau School District (2016). Wausau school district student demographics. Retrieved February 18 2017 from http://www.wausauschools.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_808843/Image/2016-2017%20website/20161111100832066.pdf
Wisconsin Historical Society. (n.d.). Progressivism and the Wisconsin Idea. Retrieved February 18, 2017 from http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/tp-036/?action=more_essay
The Wisconsin Idea Logo [Online image]. (2015). Retrieved February 15, 2017 from http://www.middlewisconsin.org/the-wisconsin-idea-defines-us/
[UWMarathonCounty]. (March 7, 2013). I believe in UWMC – Ann Herda-Rapp. [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YK-gNLPqBvk