April 12, 2019 – Washington Co., WI – Earlier today a letter from Interim Dean Stephen Schmid to staff at UWM at Washington was posted announcing the decision to end the athletic programs at the University based in West Bend.
A press release has now been issued by the school announcing the decision to turn to club sports.
UWM at Washington County and UWM at Waukesha will make changes to their competitive athletic programs over the next two years to increase participation in club sports and wellness programs.
The changes are prompted by declining participation in competitive sports at all of the former UW Colleges campuses and a $110,000 shortfall in the student segregated fees that fund athletics at the two UWM campuses. Athletics receives the largest portion of the two campuses’ student segregated fees. At Washington County, athletics programming this past year accounted for 50 percent of all collected segregated fees and served approximately 60 student athletes. At Waukesha, athletics programming this past year accounted for 31 percent of all collected segregated fees at that campus and served fewer than 50 students.
Current athletics programs involve less than five percent of students at UWM at Waukesha and 10 percent at Washington County. The three-year participation average is 68 students at UWM at Waukesha and 60 students at UWM at Washington County, with coaches often struggling in recent years to find enough students to make a team.
Campus leaders will be working with the student governance associations at each campus to develop programming for 2020-21 and beyond. This will likely include expanded club sports and a wellness program that will better serve a majority of students.
“We are optimistic the new programs being developed will serve a larger portion of our students and provide the best possible experience for them, while being mindful of the need to keep education affordable,” said Stephen Schmid, interim dean.