By this time next fall, the University of Wisconsin System’s smallest campus will cease to exist in its current form.

In-person degree programs at UW-Platteville Richland will end July 1. The 60 students enrolled this fall can transfer to another campus or end their academic pursuits. The two dozen employees who still work there might have a job elsewhere within UW, but there’s been no assurances offered.

The decision made last month by new UW System President Jay Rothman followed years of declining enrollment, budget cuts, tuition freezes and reorganizations at the Richland Center campus. Whether UW System’s other branch campuses, many of which have endured similar trajectories, reverse a troubling trend line or fall victim to the same fate remains to be seen.

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