UW-Green Bay will suspend in-person classes at Marinette

MARINETTE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is suspending in-person classes at its Marinette campus starting in the fall of 2024.

A university spokesperson confirmed Monday that all Marinette classes would be moved online in the fall. There are currently 242 students enrolled at the campus.

This is the latest shift in a changing Universities of Wisconsin system. The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Richland campus was closed in 2023. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Washington County campus and University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Fond du Lac campus are both set to end in-person instruction in June 2024.

Michael Alexander, the university’s chancellor, emailed faculty and staff on Friday to alert them of the news.

Alexander said in the email that someone pre-emptively released internal meeting notes to the Marinette County Board and media outlets.

“Our conversations with the County are still occurring, but our internal conversation has become public prior to us completing negotiations. We will not comment on the ongoing discussions. However, today I am sending you the draft communication we were working on that reflects the internal conversations we had back in November so that we are transparent internally and externally on our intentions,” he said in the letter.

”In collaboration with Marinette County, we are working to make a paradigm shift to redefine how we will measure success, provide value to our constituents, and invest in UW-Green Bay’s location in Marinette,” he continued.

He said that UW-Green Bay’s campuses in Manitowoc and Sheboygan are seeing increasing enrollment and are on “positive trajectories.” However, he admitted that is not the case for the Marinette campus.

“Despite initial enrollment gains, we recognize that persisting on the current path will inevitably lead to closure,” he said. “Instead of waiting for a closure, we have chosen to proactively rethink our approach to maintain a meaningful presence in Marinette.”

Alexander said only 14 classes were taught exclusively in person at the Marinette campus during the fall 2023 semester. The rest of the classes were streamed or taught online.

Alexander explained that in the fall, campus classrooms will be used for streaming courses.

UW-Green Bay is also working with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to “expand the pipeline of students in Marinette who start at NWTC and finish with [UW-Green Bay] at any location.”

Alexander said the school will invest in the campus theater, Herb Williams Theatre.

“Just like UW-Green Bay has revitalized the Weidner Center on the Green Bay Campus, we will do the same for the Williams Theatre in Marinette and provide programming including art exhibits, events, lectures, performances, and education that engages people of all ages,” Alexander said. “We already see this working based on attendance at recent events.”

The theater will also provide students and community members with educational resources. The campus-based, non-credit offerings will aim to bring more people to campus. Alexander said the community has asked for these learning opportunities and he said he expects this will “advance the quality of life and economy for all people that live in the region, not just primarily those of traditional college age.”

There are also plans to allow third parties to campus facilities.

“We plan to invite third party access to facilities that can enhance the capital investment Marinette County has made at the location. We are working to sign a new agreement with Marinette County that will ensure that we can make great use of the infrastructure at the campus,” he said.

Source: UW-Green Bay will suspend in-person classes at Marinette

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