Dozens speak out about UWSP proposed cuts

By Courtney Terlecki, WAOW

STEVENS POINT -Concerns continue to mount over proposed cuts to several programs at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Representative Katrina Shankland, along with the school's government association held a town hall meeting on campus Tuesday evening. Roughly 150 people packed the theater with 34 speaking out on the issue.

"It just comes out of nowhere, there's a lack of transparency," said a professor at UWSP.

The school administration is proposing cuts to thirteen humanities related programs such as English and History. Meanwhile they are looking at expanding STEM programs.

"It came by surprise, when the dean and provost met with us we didn't have shouting in the meeting, but there was crying, there was shock," said another professor with UWSP.

Dozens echoed similar concerns on what slashing programs will do for the reputation of UWSP .

"When I had applied, my parents had just found out about the large budget cuts that were affecting the school system and they were very concerned about sending me here," said a current UWSP student.

Faculty expressed concerns over the enrollment next year if the programs are cut.

"The primary thing that I'm concerned about, the number of students in the last week and a half who said if they would have known this might happen they would have gone somewhere else is astounding," said a professor at UWSP.

It's not just the school people fear for, but the community as a whole.

"We came here principally for the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and the educational and cultural opportunities," said Stevens Point resident Henry Shaw.

While many people who spoke out were faculty, students or alumni of humanity programs, others were not. They said even though their program wasn't impacted they still saw the importance of those programs.

"I think we're threatening the very sustainability of this institution," said a professor with UWSP.

Representative Katrina Shankland said she's talked to the school administration about adjusting the budget differently.

August is the earliest a formal proposal could begin to be considered.