Board Approves Pilot Community College Concept
Posted on 04/13/2023

County Board Approves Resolution Supporting the Creation of a Pilot Community College System 

West Bend, WI – The Washington County Board of Supervisors voted 19-2 last night to approve a resolution that recommends the creation of a pilot community college concept combining the resources of UWM at Washington County (UWM-WC) and Moraine Park Technical College West Bend (MPTC) campus.

County Executive Josh Schoemann created the UWM-Washington County Campus Task Force to formulate recommendations on the future of the campus. Recently, the group issued its report, “Findings, Solutions by Task Force on Higher Education in Washington County: A Community College Concept,” after conducting months of hearings, meetings, stakeholder interviews, research on other states’ two-year colleges, and campus tours. Read full report here:

The UWM-WC Task Force, is comprised of 11 members representing a broad cross-section of county government, business, academic and non-profit leaders (see list of members below), co-chaired by John Torinus, former CEO of Serigraph, and Paul Stangl, President of Wisconsin Stamping. Torinus presented the Task Force results at the County Board meeting.

The Task Force found a new urgency and new focus after the closing of the UW-Platteville Richland campus, and then two days before this board meeting, the sudden announcement of the closure of Cardinal Stritch. This pilot could become a template for other two-year colleges in the state that are experiencing similar enrollment and fiscal issues.

“I thank the task force members for their diligence, and I praise the board’s action in approving the resolution. Now we can look forward to the next steps to explore the community college concept under the collaborative governance of Moraine Park Technical College,” said Schoemann. “It’s important to consider initiatives like this aimed at attracting and retaining the next generation in Washington County.”

Washington County does not have a four-year institution of higher education, and many attend the two-year campuses as a lower-tuition path to a four-year institution degree. The community college concept will require legislative and policy actions.

UWM-Washington County Campus Task Force Members

Co-chair – John Torinus, former CEO of Serigraph

Co-chair – Paul Stangl, President of Wisconsin Stamping

Allen Ericson – Froedtert Health

Amy Campbell – Assistant VP, West Bend Mutual Insurance

Christina Fiasca – Secretary - UWM Foundation; Secretary – UWM Research Foundation; Member of the UWM Board of Visitors; Senior VP at Northwestern Mutual-retired

Scott Henke – Washington County Treasurer

Tom Hostad – Executive Director, Hartford Area Development Corporation

Kraig Sadownikow – President of American Construction

Dave Stroik – President, CEO at Zimmerman Architectural Studios, retired

Jen Wimmer – Superintendent West Bend School District

Craig Wolf – President, E.H. Wolf & Sons

Ex-officio Members: Keri Duce-UWM; Peter Rettler-MPTC/WB; and Dr. Noel Radomski-education consultant