UW Oshkosh restructuring granted approval by Higher Learning Commission

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Restructuring of UW System becomes effective July 1, 2018

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) approved the UW System restructuring proposal joining UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh on June 29. Effective July 1, the 13 UW System two-year UW Colleges—including UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du lac—will be joined with seven of the UW System’s four-year comprehensive or research institutions.

“It is a historic day for our new university. With today’s approval from the HLC, UW-Fond du Lac and UW-Fox Valley have officially become campuses of UW Oshkosh—three campuses, one university,” Chancellor Andrew Leavitt said.

    “Our primary concern is ensuring the UW System is in a position to provide greater access, affordability, and opportunity for our students and the state of Wisconsin,” UW System President Ray Cross said. “To help meet Wisconsin’s growing needs, it is imperative we take action now and be increasingly bold in our efforts to get more students into and through the educational pipeline.”

    UW-Fox Valley, UW-Fond du Lac and UW Oshkosh have long shared a rich history in partnership and collaboration—through academic articulation agreements, continuing education programming, resource sharing and more. With the joining, students at the three campuses of UW Oshkosh will have access to programs across the educational continuum—certificate programs through associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Throughout the region, more than 12,500 students are enrolled at the three campuses.

    UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac will remain access campuses that offer affordable tuition and reduce barriers to transferring credits within the UW System. Two-year campuses are considered access points for students, particularly those at greater risk of not being able to afford college: first-generation, low-income and underserved communities.

    Accreditation, administrative oversight and reporting structures formally transfer on July 1.

    “Each step of the way has been in the spirit of openness and collaboration,” Leavitt said of the UW Oshkosh joining.

    Since late last year, more than 45 work groups with representation from throughout the three campuses of UW Oshkosh have been working on restructuring initiatives. Work groups are addressing the transition under the umbrella of eight major areas—Academics, Administration, Student Affairs, Information and Technology, Governance, Culture and Identity, Marketing and Branding, and External Affairs. Groups have been working on different timelines depending on the requirements of each area and work will continue well after the July 1 launch date.

    The UW System Board of Regents unanimously approved the proposed restructuring late last year. UW System formally submitted its application to restructure to the Higher Learning Commission on Jan. 16, 2018. The HLC approved the application on June 29, 2018.

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    Justin R. Mitchell

    Justin is the founding editor of the Oshkosh Independent.

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