University of Wisconsin System

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The University of Wisconsin System is a university system of public universities in the state of Wisconsin. It is one of the largest public higher education systems in the country, enrolling more than 173,000 students each year and employing more than 28,500 faculty and staff statewide.[1] The University of Wisconsin System comprises two doctoral research universities, eleven comprehensive universities, thirteen freshman-sophomore colleges, and the statewide University of Wisconsin–Extension.



The University of Wisconsin System was created on October 11, 1971, by Chapter 100, Laws of 1971, which combined the former Chapter 36 (former University of Wisconsin) and Chapter 37 (former Wisconsin State Universities) to create a new Chapter 36 (University of Wisconsin System) of the Wisconsin Statutes.[2]

Former University of Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin was created by the state constitution in 1848, and held its first classes in Madison in 1849. A century later, pressed by the growing demand for a large public university that offered graduate programs in Wisconsin's largest city, Wisconsin lawmakers created another University of Wisconsin campus in Milwaukee. In 1956, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee was created from a merger of the Wisconsin State College of Milwaukee (WSCM) and the University of Wisconsin's Milwaukee extension. The new campus consisted of both the WSCM campus near the lakefront and the UW extension in downtown Milwaukee.

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