HUDSON — The University of Wisconsin-River Falls plans to close the Hudson Center by the end of the year, focusing instead on offering MBA and other programs online, according to a news release Friday, Sept. 11.
The shift to online learning in the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic spurred the university to reexamine course delivery, the news release states.
“We are constantly adapting to better meet the needs of our students and the state of Wisconsin," said College of Business and Economics interim Dean Marina Onken, who oversees the Hudson Center. "Our adult learners have indicated that convenience and flexibility are important factors when choosing to advance their careers. We have trained our faculty through AACSB, our accreditation body, to gain the cutting-edge skills and technologies to teach in an online environment.”
The Hudson Center opened in 2010 in the Carley Ponds office building at 2501 Hanley Road. The campus offers adult degree completion, MBA and computer science master's degree programs, as well as educational programs offered through the College of Education and Professional Studies. A selling point was night and weekend classes.
Online delivery of MBA courses boosts accessibility of the program, CBE Director of Graduate Programs Leanne Van Allen said in a news release. The program was recently expanded with interdisciplinary tracks in business analytics, strategic leadership and innovation and entrepreneurship.
“One of the unique distinguishing features about our move to online programming is the flexible synchronous delivery of our courses," Van Allen said. "This synchronous delivery will allow us to continue to provide strong engagement and networking opportunities to our students while they collaborate in this innovative environment.”
UW-River Falls attracts hundreds of Hudson-area students each year and collaborates with businesses in the region, the university said.
“UW-River Falls remains a strong partner in the continued economic growth of our region,” said Mary Claire Olson Potter, president of Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau. “I see their shifting the programs they offered at the Hudson Center to online delivery can only reinforce that partnership.”