- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

MILWAUKEE (AP) - University of Wisconsin-Whitewater officials are considering layoffs as the school grapples with declining enrollment.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Tuesday that Chancellor Dwight Watson sent out a campus-wide letter warning that the school will have to find ways to cut $12 million over the next two years to make up for lost tuition revenue. He said two-thirds of the cut will come out of academic affairs.

“I need you to understand that in order to meet our budget needs we will do some combination of contract non-renewals, reduction in appointment times and layoffs,” Watson wrote.

UW-Whitewater’s enrollment has declined 8% over the last three years. Enrollment peaked at 12,628 students in the fall of 2016; this past fall the university had 11,586 students.

Other UW System schools have been struggling financially in the face of declining enrollment. Two years ago, UW-Oshkosh officials announced a $9.5 million budget shortfall. The university has made an early retirement offer to shed about 70 staff and faculty.

UW-Stevens Point had planned to cut six liberal arts majors, including history, to offset a projected $4.5 million budget deficit. School officvials dropped the plan in April, saying additional resignations and retirements enabled them to save the programs.

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