UW-Green Bay Manitowoc campus thrives amid regional closures, community remains optimistic

MANITOWOC (WLUK) — A year from now, only seven of the 13 Universities of Wisconsin branch campuses will exist.

UW-Oshkosh announced on Thursday it is closing its Fox Cities campus next spring. The UW-Oshkosh Fond du Lac campus will permanently close June 30, and UW-Green Bay discontinued in-person learning in Marinette — meaning UWGB’s Manitowoc campus is the lone branch campus left in Northeast Wisconsin.

The Manitowoc campus is quiet with summer break underway. For the past 65 years or so, the campus has been a staple in Manitowoc. The county invested about $5 million six years ago to update classrooms and the science department.

County Executive Bob Zieglebauer called the campus a value to the community. “We point to it, we have a lot of events that center around that campus. It’s not just a campus off to the side, it’s part of our community.”

So, when news broke about the decision to close the Fox Cities campus, there was concern in Manitowoc about the future of its facility.

According to Ziegelbauer, “We’re worried about the general condition of the two-year campuses in Wisconsin.”

But he said he continues to have what he calls optimistic and positive conversations with UWGB Chancellor Michael Alexander about the vitality of the Manitowoc campus. “I take him at his word that he’s not thinking about closing our campus.”

Ziegelbauer also understands and is keeping a close eye on outside influences.

“We know that the Legislature is putting pressure on the UW System and I fear that they don’t appreciate the two-year campuses as much as we do,” said Ziegelbauer.

UWGB officials tell FOX 11 Manitowoc is one of the most successful branch campuses in the system. With Manitowoc’s enrollment continuing to grow, it has no plans of shutting it down.

“We hope and are optimistically looking forward to it being a UWGB campus for a long time,” Ziegelbauer added.

In addition to Manitowoc, UWGB officials say the Sheboygan campus is thriving, with no plans to close that campus either.

Source: UW-Green Bay Manitowoc campus thrives amid regional closures, community remains optimistic

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