All FAQ – UWM/UW-Milwaukee Regional Transition

  • I enjoy the small classes in Waukesha and Washington County. Will they be increasing? How big are classes at UWM?

    Class sizes vary depending upon the course, enrollment and the faculty’s determination of the most appropriate mode of instruction. We do not anticipate an increase in class sizes at any of the three campuses. At UWM at Waukesha, the average class size is currently about 25 students. At UWM at Washington County, it is 24. At UWM, the average class size is 26, and more than 40 percent of our undergraduate classes have 19 or fewer students in them.

  • I was a student at UW-Waukesha/UW-Washington County. What school do I go to now?

    You are a student at UWM. You attend one of its branch campuses, which are now known as the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Washington County. You could also say you attend UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County.

  • Will interdisciplinary programs, such as the Gender and Sexuality and Women Studies programs at UWM at Waukesha, be housed within the UWM College of General Studies? Similar (but different) programs also exist at UW-Milwaukee.

    UWM has cross-department and inter-college programs. Like curriculum integration and other inter-college collaborations, discussions on these programs will continue this academic year.

  • Will professors at UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County lose their jobs because they don’t have tenure?

    There is no plan to lay off professors. A system for faculty governance will be established that provides faculty at the two-year campuses with a voice in determining how tenure will be granted. That system is still being developed.

  • What is going to happen with the athletics programs at UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County?

    Athletics at the branch campuses will use a “club sport” model starting in Fall 2018. Under the club sport proposal, these athletics programs will:

    • Be defined as “club sports” in all institutional documentation.
    • Differ from club sports at UWM in that they may have paid coaches and funding for WCC staff and operations.
    • Be funded with allocable segregated fees.
    • Be referred to as “college athletics” for marketing purposes.
    • Continue to function under the structure and direction of the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference (WCC).


  • What will be the alumni status for someone who graduates from UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County?

    Students who graduate from UWM at Waukesha and UWM at Washington County will be University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee alumni.

  • How will collaborative degree programs work after the restructuring when UW System institutions other than UWM, UWM at Waukesha, and UWM at Washington County are involved?

    Collaborative degree programs with other institutions are still being discussed. A primary focus in these discussions is ensuring that the needs of the students currently enrolled in those programs continue to be met.

  • How will parking at the three campuses be handled for faculty and staff traveling between them?

    No parking changes are being planned – faculty and staff traveling from one campus to another will follow the applicable parking rules and choose from the payment options at those campuses.

  • If I go to school in Waukesha or Washington County, do I have to transfer to the main UWM campus to finish my bachelor’s degree?

    To complete their four-year degree at the main UWM campus during the 2018-19 school year (fall 2018 through summer of 2019), students must follow the same transfer process they previously did, which can be found here.  For 2019-20 and going forward, students who are admitted to and attend the branch campuses will transition to the main campus of UWM using a different process that has yet to be defined. The process will be clarified by the Undergraduate Admissions Office and/or Registrar’s Office. The goal is to make the transition as seamless as possible.

  • How will the restructuring affect services for veterans?

    In the first year, there will be no changes to veterans’ services. UWM has considerable expertise in providing veterans’ services, and those services will transition sometime next year.

  • When do the employees of the 2-year colleges become employees of UWM? How will their reporting lines be determined?

    Instructors and staff in Waukesha and Washington County became UWM employees on July 1, 2018. Reporting lines for most employees did not change. Some employees in certain functional units (e.g., maintenance) now report to staff at the main UWM campus with dotted line reporting to the College of General Studies (CGS). Other staff report to CGS through department chairs or some other functional unit within CGS.

  • Will email addresses for faculty, staff, and students in the CGS be changing?

    Email addresses will change for CGS employees at a yet undetermined future date. CITS will provide ample communications about the changes prior to implementation.

  • Who are the department chairs for the new College of General Studies (CGS)?

    Department chair elections and recommendations were conducted in May 2018. Interim Dean Stephen Schmid recommended the following chairs to the provost, and they have been approved.

    • Dean Kowalski – Arts & Humanities
    • Talitha Selby – Mathematics & Natural Sciences
    • Julianna Alitto – Social Sciences & Business

    The department chairs have begun their work on governance policy for the departments, division, and college, including tenure, retention, and promotion policy. Department chairs also will receive training in academic affairs and curriculum management, student affairs, business affairs, HR functions, and UWM’s department chair training.

  • What is the timeline for recruiting a permanent dean for the CGS? How will recruitment work for other administrative positions within the CGS?

    Provost Johannes Britz will determine the timeline for recruiting a permanent dean. Other administrative positions are being filled by existing regional and campus staff, as budget and organization chart allow.

  • Who is the interim dean for the College of General Studies and what has that person’s role been for the UW Colleges?

    Dr. Stephen E. Schmid assumed the role of Interim Dean for the College of General Studies on July 1. Previously, Dr. Schmid served as the Southeast Regional Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the UW Colleges. In this role, he oversaw curriculum, instructional staffing, and student academic support services at UW-Waukesha, UW-Washington County, and UW-Sheboygan. He also served as the campus administrator at UW-Waukesha, where he works with campus staff in managing the day-to-day operations of the campus.

    After completing his doctoral degree in philosophy 14 years ago at UW-Madison, Dr. Schmid started with the UW Colleges at UW-Rock County in Janesville, Wisconsin. Soon after promotion to associate professor, he moved into various leadership roles including associate dean for academic affairs. Holding that position prior to the UW Colleges’ regionalization, he gained broad experience serving on numerous teams engaged in the restructuring of the UW Colleges’ 13 campuses into its current four-region model. In the current restructuring process, he is a member of a half dozen working groups at both UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee.

  • What is the status of the reimagined degree?

    Yes, Provost Britz has asked that CGS move forward with the reimagined AAS degree. In 2015, UW System mandated the updating of associate’s degrees as part of the UW LEAP initiative (SYS 115, adopted June 2015). The UW Colleges’ reimagined AAS degree complies with this UW System mandate and is modeled on AAUP’s LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes. UWM’s College of Letters & Science has started discussions about GER reform using this model.

  • Are there any updates on how there will be collaboration with other schools/colleges at UWM to align CGS courses with those at UWM? What is the timeframe for getting this done? What is the role of governance in this process?

    A working group has started the curriculum integration process. CGS faculty and staff collected old and new course guides and course syllabi. The appropriate departments at UWM are working to review and compare CGS course guides and syllabi with their own. As UWM departments complete their reviews, the working group will coordinate with future CGS governance representatives to address any changes. In order to prepare UWM’s timetable for fall 2019 semester, the entire review and approval process should be completed by December 2018.

    In addition, discussions with other UWM schools and colleges about collaborative programming at CGS are starting. Many of these discussions are ongoing and will continue into the next academic year.

  • Who will be responsible for the Waukesha and Washington County facilities?

    It is expected that the counties will continue to support campus facilities. Existing maintenance and custodial staff will continue to provide maintenance of the facilities.

  • Will faculty and staff be reimbursed for travel for shared governance or other required meetings at UWM? Will Skype meetings still be possible?

    Required travel is reimbursed. Skype meetings will continue to be cost-effective means of conducting business.

  • How is the budget for the CGS to be determined? When will the budget for the CGS be determined?

    Early in the restructuring process, UW System drafted a tentative budget distribution model using the UW Colleges’ existing budget model. The draft budget distribution model includes three budget areas: region, campus and central services. The distribution proportions and timing vary by area. Details and distribution timing remain under negotiation. For the most part, the future CGS budget will be the budget allocations UW System transfers to UWM.

  • It feels like decisions about who will serve in specific positions in the CGS will be made before the organizational structure is clearly defined and finalized. What safeguards will be in place to ensure that the faculty have input on the decisions?

    A draft organizational chart was created for the Higher Learning Commission for purposes of the accreditation review that took place from approximately January to June 2018 and for the creation of a new college within UWM. The draft organizational chart was created to be consistent with UWM organizational practices. This draft CGS organization chart was reviewed and approved by UWM faculty governance in spring 2018, as part of the approval process for the new College of General Studies (CGS). The CGS draft organization chart will be subject to budgetary constraints. Given that the UW Colleges budget being transferred to UWM continues to be reviewed with some parts of the budget not transferring until mid-2019, the organization chart is a work in progress with pieces approved following UWM leadership review. UWM leadership will have the final determination regarding organizational structure.

  • Is there a requirement for shared governance representation from the CGS? How will the governance representation work before a governance document is in place for the CGS?

    CGS will have shared governance representation at UWM starting in fall 2018. Three CGS senators were elected in spring 2018. In absence of complete and approved policies, good faith efforts will guide department, division and CGS actions.

  • Will the two-year campuses be able to continue to hire for positions at their individual campuses or will the UWM Strategic Position Control apply to them as well?

    The College of General Studies, just like other UWM Colleges/Schools will be under Strategic Position Control (SPC). SPC is a mechanism to control expenditures at UW-Milwaukee given the fluctuations in enrollments. UWM’s Provost Britz and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administrative Affairs Robin Van Harpen oversees this process. SPC is functionally like the UW Colleges’ past practice of reviewing hiring decisions based on an enrollment adjusted budget model.

  • Will the CGS faculty members be part of a department or a division? How are the department chairs and members of the Divisional Committee determined?

    Each UWM college/school has a department structure, with the number of departments varying by college/school. CGS will have three departments: Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences & Business, and Mathematics & Natural Sciences. Through elections, these inter-disciplinary departments recently recommended chairs, which will be recommended by the interim CGS dean to the Provost. Departments oversee academics, staffing, and assessment standards and quality.

    UWM currently has four divisions: Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Professions. Divisions are the governance mechanism for addressing tenure, retention, and promotion after department reviews. In addition, the divisional structure is the mechanism by which schools/colleges at UWM participate in the larger governance structure. As part of the restructuring, a new division is being proposed for CGS. This governance body will be constituted from members of each CGS department following UWM policy.

  • How will the consolidation with two other campuses affect UWM’s access mission?

    UWM will continue its dual research and access mission. Restructuring with the two-year campuses will only strengthen UWM’s access mission.

  • Will transportation be provided for students traveling among the three campuses to take classes?

    Students will continue to register at just one campus, choosing the one that best fits their needs. As a result, we do not anticipate the need to provide students with transportation between the three campuses.

  • How will services that are currently centrally provided to UW Colleges be provided in the future?

    The decisions about how centralized services for the two-year colleges will be provided, including human resources, IT support and marketing, is being managed differently for each area. For example, human resources and IT will be managed by centralized staff housed in Madison in the near term, while facilities and marketing have been transferred to UW-Milwaukee. There is a goal to determine the future of all such services during the 2018-19 year.

  • How will the restructuring affect international students?

    The Waukesha and Washington County campuses have very small international student enrollments. UWM’s Center for International Education will ensure those campuses remain in compliance with federal laws regarding visa status and enrollment.

  • Will the TRIO programs in Milwaukee and Waukesha be combined during the restructuring?

    The TRIO Student Support Services Program is a federally funded program. UW Colleges transferred the Principal Investigator along with the grant to UW-Whitewater. The Principal Investigator at UW-Whitewater will continue to be responsible for administration of TRIO grant activities at the Waukesha campus. More information can be found here on the UW System website.

  • Will the merger boost enrollments at the two‐year colleges? Is this expectation driving the decision to merge?

    Increased opportunities for students as well as the affiliation with UW‐Milwaukee, a world‐renowned research institution, are expected to boost enrollment. UW System President Ray Cross has said, “the purpose of this restructure is to keep campuses open and expand access to higher education by leveraging the strength of our four‐year institutions at a time when overall enrollments at UW Colleges are declining.”

  • What was included in the documentation submitted to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)?

    For more information on the submission to the HLC, including an executive summary, a cover letter from UW System President Ray Cross, the application and UWM’s statement, please click here.

  • How will general education courses be managed across the three campuses, particularly when there is duplication in the courses?

    The Associate of Arts and Sciences degree will be overseen by the new UWM College of General Studies. UWM does not currently offer an associate’s degree. The Academic Affairs Functional Team is currently looking at the integration of curriculum, focusing on the UW Colleges’ courses and UWM’s general education courses. This team is looking at which courses are transfer equivalents and discussing nonequivalent transfer courses with UWM department chairs. Ultimately, there will be no “duplication” of courses since all courses will be UWM courses.

  • Will faculty at the two‐year campuses have opportunities for sabbaticals and conference travel similar to those for other UWM faculty?

    Details on sabbatical opportunities and conference resources for faculty at the two-year campuses have not yet been decided.

  • How will faculty who are working toward tenure be affected by differences in the tenure and promotion criteria and processes at the two‐year campuses compared to UWM?

    The Academic Affairs and Governance Functional Teams are working on this issue. The College of General Studies will have its own faculty promotion and tenure processes, separate and distinct from UWM’s current policies and procedures for faculty tenure and promotion.

  • What will be the expected workload at UWM and the two‐year campuses? Will faculty have the same teaching loads?

    For the 2018-19 academic year, workload for instructors in Waukesha and Washington County will remain unchanged.

  • Where will UW Flexible Option degrees be housed?

    The Flex Associate of Arts and Sciences (AAS) degree will be housed in and managed by the new UWM College of General Studies. Management of UWM’s Flex bachelor’s degrees will remain unchanged.

  • What will happen to collaborative programs between two-year campuses and UW institutions that are not being integrated under the proposal?

    Successful collaborative partnerships and programs should continue, regardless of whether a UW institution and a two-year campus are affiliated post-restructuring. We will continue to encourage and build upon innovative programs that enable student success.

  • Will I be able to go to Pantherfest and UWM basketball games?

    Yes, students in Waukesha and Washington County will be able to attend Pantherfest and UWM basketball games. These are two of the most popular events supported by UWM student segregated fees.

  • How will student organizations at the two-year campuses be affected by the restructuring?

    Student life is an integral part of the college experience, and funding from student segregated fees at those campuses will continue to support student organizations there.

  • How will student governance be affected by the restructuring?

    Wisconsin law calls for students to determine how they are organized at each campus. Therefore, student governance leaders are being asked to determine how they would like to be organized moving forward. No determination has been made yet.

  • I am a current student working toward meeting the requirements of the Badger Promise program. How will the restructuring affect that?

    Students enrolled at the two-year campuses and already working toward meeting the requirements of the Badger Promise transfer agreement will still be eligible for the transfer, as well as the financial support included in that program.

  • What is going to happen to the guaranteed transfer program?

    The guaranteed transfer programs will continue to be honored through spring 2019. UW System also is working to improve transfer options to all comprehensive and research institutions.

  • Can I still transfer to other UW four-year institutions, or do I have to go to UWM?

    Students in Waukesha and Washington County will still be able to transfer between all UW System institutions, as long as they meet an institution’s admissions requirements.

  • UWM has a lot of food options at its campus. Can we get some of those options at my campus?

    Planning teams are looking at auxiliary services, such as food offerings, to determine the best way to provide quality options at affordable prices. No decisions have been made yet.

  • Will my financial aid be affected by the restructuring of the two-year campuses?

    No changes are expected in the financial aid packages processed and awarded.

  • How will student segregated fees be affected?

    A Student Affairs team, which includes members who are students, is examining the issue of segregated fees at the three campuses. Part of their work has involved a survey of students in Waukesha and Washington County regarding their preferences. No decisions have been made yet.

  • How will my tuition be affected?

    Tuition for the 2018-19 school year will remain unchanged. We know the two-year campuses are important access points for many students, and we are committed to keeping higher education affordable.

  • What support does UWM offer for students who haven’t yet chosen majors? Is it available to all students?

    Academic advisors at all three campuses will work with you on selecting appropriate courses that support your academic exploration and help you identify the best pathway into a major. Along with academic advising, UWM offers career and major exploration fairs, career planning resources and a breadth of general education requirements that will support any major you eventually choose.

  • If I want to take some classes at UWM’s main campus in Milwaukee, will I have that option?

    To enroll at UWM’s main campus, you must be admitted to UWM in a bachelor’s degree program. In the future, some courses may be available to students enrolled at the Waukesha and Washington County campuses, but not at this time.