Officials from Madison Area Technical College held a student and community forum Tuesday night to answer questions regarding the possible 50-year lease of the downtown campus.
MATC President Jack Daniels proposed leasing the downtown property and shifting the majority of classes to the south side. Before students asked questions and gave their opinions, Daniels gave a short presentation highlighting the reasons for the move.
He said moving to the south side would create an access point for people in poorer demographics that are in need of a GED. If the majority of classes moved to the south side, it would be easier for those students to commute.
Daniels also noted that concurrent enrollment numbers between UW-Madison and MATC have been steadily dropping since 2013. He also said in 2014-’15 only 50 MATC students transferred to UW-Madison from the downtown campus, and that the majority were from the MATC Truax campus and other campuses.
According to Senior Vice President of Student Development and Success Keith Cornille, leasing the property would make an alternate stream of revenue available to MATC, instead of raising tuition.
“The only way to raise more revenue is [students],” Cornille said. “I am literally looking at the only way to gain more revenue for the college.”
Cornille also noted that the college has reviewed transportation options before making the proposals.
Francisco Cubias has attended MATC for three years and is now at UW-Madison. He currently takes calculus two at MATC and said it has helped him understand the most failed class at UW-Madison.
“I tell [other students] about MATC, but you guys don’t market that at all,” Cubias said. “And I feel like that is a missed opportunity. There are a lot of engineers at UW-Madison, a lot of econ majors, which I am, and a lot of mathematics majors who are trying to get a smaller environment for calculus one and two.”
The next student forum will be held at the Madison College Truax Campus Wednesday, April 13, from 2-3:30 p.m.