University of Wisconsin System

University of Wisconsin System

Infobox University
name=University of Wisconsin System

type=Public university system| president=Kevin P. Reilly
campus= 13 universities, UW colleges, UW Extension
website= []

The University of Wisconsin is the system of public universities in the state of Wisconsin. It is one of the largest public higher education systems in the country, enrolling more than 160,000 students each year and employing more than 32,000 faculty and staff statewide. [ About UW System] . Retrieved on 2006-01-18.] The University of Wisconsin System comprises two doctoral research universities, eleven comprehensive universities, thirteen freshman-sophomore colleges, and statewide UW-Extension.


The University of Wisconsin System was created on October 11 1971, by Chapter 100, Laws of 1971, which combined the former Chapter 36 (former University of Wisconsin) and Chapter 37 (former Wisconsin State Universities) to create a new Chapter 36 (University of Wisconsin System) of the Wisconsin Statutes. [ History and Organization of the University of Wisconsin System] . Retrieved on 2007-02-18.]

Former University of Wisconsin

The pre-merger University of Wisconsin was created by the state constitution and state law in 1848. As of 1971, it included the Madison (1849), Milwaukee (merged in 1956), Green Bay (1968) and Parkside (1968) campuses, together with 10 freshman-sophomore centers (now colleges) and statewide Extension. As of 1971, the total enrollment of the University of Wisconsin was 69,554. The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin included ten members, nine of whom were appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for nine-year terms. The tenth is the state superintendent of public instruction who served ex-officio on both the University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin State University boards.

Former Wisconsin State Universities

The pre-merger Wisconsin State Universities were created by Chapter 36. As of 1971, they were made up of nine public universities and four freshman-sophomore branch campuses (now colleges), with a total enrollment of 64,148. Initially established as State Normal Schools, they began to offer bachelor degrees in Education and became State Teachers Colleges in 1927, and then State Colleges in 1951 with the addition of liberal art degrees. In 1964, Wisconsin State Colleges were renamed Wisconsin State Universities. The board was made up of fourteen members, thirteen of whom were appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate for five-year terms. The 14th is the state superintendent of public instruction.

The University of Wisconsin System

The 1971 merger law approved by the senate combined the two higher education systems in Wisconsin under a single Board of Regents, creating a system with 13 universities, 14 (now 13) freshman-sophomore centers (now colleges), and statewide extension with offices in all 72 counties. Each university is named “University of Wisconsin-” followed by the location or name. Each two-year college is named “University of Wisconsin-” followed by the city and/or county in which it is located.

The Board of the University of Wisconsin System includes 18 members, 16 of whom are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate. Of these 16 members, 14 serve staggered, seven-year terms. The remaining two are two-year-term position filled by current UW System students. The two ex officio members are the state superintendent of public instruction and the president or a designee of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

Doctoral granting institutions



Founded in 1848, University of Wisconsin-Madison is the largest university in the state, and the flagship of the UW System, with a total enrollment of over 41,000 students, of whom approximately 30,000 are undergraduates. [ [ The University of Wisconsin System Student Statistics, Fall 2007-08 Headcount Enrollment by Level and Resident Status] ]


University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is the second research institution of the University of Wisconsin System and the largest urban university in the state of Wisconsin.

Comprehensive universities

There are eleven comprehensive universities in the University of Wisconsin System that grant baccalaureate and master's degrees:
*UW–Eau Claire
*UW–Green Bay
*UW–La Crosse
*UW–River Falls
*UW–Stevens Point

UW Colleges & UW-Extension

UW Colleges is an institution of the University of Wisconsin System that grants associate degrees on thirteen local campuses. The UW Colleges also grants associate degrees through its online program. The UW-Extension operates extension courses statewide through offices in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties.


Since the union of the universities and colleges under the University of Wisconsin banner, there has been a controversy over the arrangement. The name "University of Wisconsin" is often used to refer to the Madison campus which has made it difficult for other institutions to make names for themselves. In addition, the UW system is often accused of showing favoritism towards UW-Madison at the expense of the other institutions.

Conversely, many who are connected to UW-Madison have claimed that having so many institutions share the "University of Wisconsin" title has caused a form of brand dilution. [J. Martin Klotsche, "The University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee: An Urban University", pp. 1-40]

While no official moves have been made to dissolve the UW system (nor is one likely to be made), in 2006 an advisory vote was held by the students at the Milwaukee campus to decide whether the school should change its name to something which didn't carry the UW name (such as Wisconsin State University or University of Milwaukee). While the name "University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee" won a plurality of the votes, the tally showed that more than half of the voting students were in favor of a change. [ [ referendumMeg Jones, "UWM students rebuff change: New names such as Wisconsin State University fail in referendum"]

Notable alumni

*Eau Claire
*Green Bay
*La Crosse
*River Falls
*Stevens Point

ee also

*University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
*University of Wisconsin Credit Union


External links

* [ University of Wisconsin System]

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