UW’s Cross wants 4-year school to handle online degrees

MADISON — University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross wants to tweak his plan to merge the system’s 2- and 4-year schools to let a 4-year institution issue online degrees.

The Board of Regents adopted a Cross proposal last month to make 2-year schools regional branches of the 4-year schools. The plan called for system administration to issue online associate degrees rather than UW Colleges Online and the Flex Option program.

But UW staff wrote in a memo to the regents that the Higher Learning Commission says only institutions accredited as a degree-granting authority can offer such an online degree. System administration lacks such accreditation.

Cross plans to ask the regents Thursday to amend the merger to let a 4-year campus issue the online degree and let him pick that school.