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Legislator Questions Latest Proposed Cuts At UW-SP

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Logan Wenger WSAU Midwest Communications
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STEVENS POINT, WI (WSAU) -- Democratic State Representative Katrina Shankland is expressing concerns on the New Point Forward Proposal from UWSP.

After holding a news conference Monday morning, the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point released their New Point Forward Proposal. The proposal is focused on making programs at the University more career-focused, which includes eliminating half of a dozen majors, like history and geography.

A few hours after the news conference State Representative Katrina Shankland released a statement on the new proposal addressing her concerns. She feels the proposal ends up raising more questions that it is able to answer. "What we need to find out first before assessing whether or not this is the right move is how much money this actually saves. Because if they want to cut 8 million dollars, and this is only saving a small amount, but the question is, is it worth it?" Shankland adds that she'd also like to see the school take a different approach when it comes to laying off tenured faculty. "You know, most businesses do that in tough times. They'll either scale back hours or they'll allow a hiring freeze. And then they'll go to layoff. They don't go to layoff's first and add a new program."

Shankland feels it's also important to remember the plan is only a proposal with a three month review period. "People have ideas. If they have ways to improve the proposal, if they have suggestions I think they should weigh into campus leadership. I also want to hear from faculty, staff, students, media members, alumni, you name it, I want to hear from everyone."

She also wonders why the proposal was given to the media in advance of the notice on Monday. Shankland says that it's inappropriate for the media to learn of potential job cuts before those holding the jobs find out.