The University of Wisconsin system is shutting down in-person instruction at two campuses and closing another campus at the end of the school year.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that UW-Milwaukee at Washington County and UW-Oshkosh Fond du Lac will no longer have in-person instruction as of June 2024.
UW-Platteville Richland, which had previously announced suspension of in-person instruction, will be fully closed.
The closures come as UW-Oshkosh cuts its workforce by 216 after 140 layoff notices were sent to employees earlier this week and 76 employees accepted a voluntary retirement offer.
UW-Milwaukee at Washington County enrolled 276 students and UW-Oshkosh at Fond du Lac enrolled 243 students in the 2023-24 school year.
Branch campuses across the state's public university system have struggled to enroll students. Since the 2018 merger that placed them under the oversight of four-year schools, most branch campuses have seen their enrollments decline by more than half.
The Universities of Wisconsin system was made up of 26 campuses, half of which are four-year schools where students can work toward bachelor's degrees. The other 13 campuses were called "branch campuses" or "two-year campuses," each of which is attached to a "parent" four-year campus.
After this school year, the UW system will include 13 four-year universities and 10 branch campuses. The branch campuses are in Barron County, Baraboo, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marshfield, Menasha, Rock County, Sheboygan, Waukesha and Wausau.
The system's two-year campuses have been hit hard by the state's shifting demographics and economic factors. The restructuring was meant to stave off further declines, yet collectively the branch campuses have shed 48% of the enrollment university officials reported in the first year after the merger.