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Faced with steep financial challenges and declining enrollment, the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh has announced it will close its Fox Cities campus, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

The closure will be effective June 30 of next year.

The Fox Cities site, located about 20 miles from UW Oshkosh, is the sixth two-year campus in the Universities of Wisconsin system to be tapped for closure in recent years, WPR reported.

“We reach this decision after spending a year analyzing UWO Fox Cities enrollment, the region’s and state’s changing demographics, student participation rates, the regional higher-education landscape, potential for new and unique academic offerings and economic trends in the competitive Fox Valley marketplace. In the end, we made a difficult but responsible decision,” UW Oshkosh chancellor Andrew Leavitt wrote in a statement announcing the closure.

Leavitt pointed to a 67 percent enrollment decline at the campus in the past decade and said enrollment projections showed Fox Cities could fall below 100 by 2032 given recent trends. UW system enrollment data puts the headcount at Fox Cities at 562 in fall 2023, down from 1,629 students in fall 2018, the highest enrollment point in the last 10 years.

Whatever the rationale for the closure, officials in Outagamie County, where the Fox Cities campus is located, are seething. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson blasted Leavitt and UW System President Jay Rothman.

“Had Leavitt and Rothman read All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, they would have understood the importance of playing fair, taking responsibility, saying sorry when mistakes were made and putting things back as they were found,” Nelson wrote in a statement on Thursday. “Instead, Leavitt and Rothman let down the students and families of UW Fox and betrayed their trust—and now it will be up to the rest of us to clean up their mess. Shame on you.”