The scope of accomplishments at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh — given the budget cuts and tuition increases since 2000 — is astonishing, and it is a tribute to the unity, vigor and dedication of students, faculty, and academic and classified staff members.
These highlights present a few examples of the University's success:
We have larger enrollments*, and we have increased the number of students of color and adult students, degrees conferred and retention rates:
- Headcount enrollment increased by 1,777 to 13,461 students, up 15.2 percent.
- FTE increased by 1,611, up 17.4 percent.
- Enrollment of students of color almost tripled from 438 to 1,241.
- Enrollment of undergraduate adult students age 25-plus increased by 544, up 39.3 percent.
- Degrees conferred increased from 1,712 to 2,172, up 26.9 percent.
- The retention rate for first-year students increased from 72.2 to 74.2 percent.
We secured more grants and more private dollars than ever before:
- Grants increased from $8.8 to $13.5 million, up 53.4 percent.
- Foundation endowments increased from $6.0 to $13.3 million.
- Foundation total assets increased from $7.4 to $21.4 million and acquired funding for 93 Academic Excellence Scholarships and 12 National Merit Scholarships, a more than threefold increase.
We raised the level of academic preparedness of our first-year students:
- The number of first-year students from the top quartile of their high school class increased by 18.1 percent.
- 12 first-year students are new Academic Excellence Scholars, and three are new National Merit Scholars, raising the total to 69 scholars.
We added tenure-track faculty positions and expanded support programs:
- UW Oshkosh received $3.8 million in Growth Agenda funding for 27 new faculty positions.
- The new Student Compact provides $1 million annually through differential tuition to enhance and integrate student academic support services.
- The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning enhances student learning by inspiring the teaching community to achieve excellence through exceptional research.
We added new academic majors, graduate certificate programs and baccalaureate degree completion programs, including:
- Undergraduate majors in theatre arts, environmental studies and environmental health.
- Accelerated Math and Science Teacher Education Program in collaboration with five UW colleges.
- 11 new graduate certificate programs.
- Collaborative master's degree in social work with UW–Green Bay.
- Accelerated bachelor's degree for non-nursing graduates.
- MBA Foundations Online Program.
- Wisconsin's first Bachelor of Applied Studies and Fire and Emergency Response Management degrees.
- The University's first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice.
We enhanced our facilities by completing more than $150 million worth of building projects characterized by:
- $1.8 million in classroom and lab upgrades.
- $17-million Halsey Science Center renovation.
- $19.9-million Reeve Memorial Union renovation and addition.
- $13-million renovation of Taylor Hall.
- $10-million transformation of the Oshkosh Sports Complex.
- Purchase and renovation of the 30,000-square-foot Newman Center for Academic Support and Diversity and Women's Center as well as the Credit Union building for the University Police Department.
- $21-million construction of the nationally acclaimed Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
- $7.7-million, 400-stall parking ramp.
- $8-million Campus Services Center.
- $8-million Student Success Center.
- $48 million new academic center, Sage Hall.
- Construction and start-up of the nation's first commercial-scale dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester, generating energy and revenue from the controlled decomposition of crop, yard and food waste.
We have another estimated $60 million worth of capital projects either in design or under construction:
- 350-bed, suite-style residence hall, Horizon Village.
- 22,000-square foot UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
- Renovation of Clow Social Science Center.
We won national recognition for our commitment to "green" principles by decreasing negative environmental impacts through water and energy conservation, pollution reduction and recycling:
- Reduced water consumption by 24.5 million gallons/year, an annual savings of $130,986.
- Reduced energy consumption by 563,017 kilowatt-hours, an annual savings of $27,600.
- Reduced emissions of coal/natural gas boilers by constructing a $2.8-million heat plant stack.
- Reused light poles, resulting in more energy efficiency and less light pollution and saving $300,000.
- Ranked 23rd among all U.S. colleges and universities for use of renewable energy. Received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest leadership award in 2003.
- Received the 2004 National Wildlife Federation Award, the 2005 Energy Star Award and the 2006 Wisconsin Clean Air Award.
- Became the first Fair Trade University in the country in 2008.
- Featured in the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges and ranked 35th nationally on Sierra Club magazine's Cool Schools list.
- Received the Solid Waste Association of North America's 2011 Silver Waste-to-Energy Excellence Award for our dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester facility.
We were recognized as a national model for developing and highlighting exemplary campuswide liberal education programs:
- Adopted a set of student-learning outcomes in May 2008 based upon the Essential Learning Outcomes of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), developing definitions and performance indicators for each.
- Featured online by the American Council on Education's (ACE) Solutions for Our Future.
- Lauded by the AAC&U for linking its Liberal Education and America's Promise initiative to the ACE's Solutions for Our Future.
We are establishing an emerging national reputation for the way we engage and partner with all types of individuals and organizations to better serve our region:
- Founding member of NEW ERA (Northeastern Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance), a consortium of executive leaders of northeastern Wisconsin's 13 public universities, serving 1.2 million Wisconsin residents with quality, seamless education.
- NEW ERA also is a founding member of New North Inc., a consortium involving northeastern Wisconsin's chambers of commerce, workforce development boards, economic development professionals and CEOs of major corporations. New North's vision is to be nationally and globally competitive for advancing job growth while maintaining a superior quality of life for the region's citizens.
We are especially proud of the accomplishments of our faculty and students:
- Six individual faculty members and three departments have received the prestigious Regents' Teaching Excellence Award.
- UW Oshkosh has the most successful Model United Nations Program in the world, receiving 26 Outstanding Delegation awards at international competitions.
- The College of Nursing passing rate for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for undergraduate students continues to be the highest in Wisconsin.
- Senior business majors at UW Oshkosh taking the ETS business knowledge assessment test ranked in the top 5 percent nationwide, while MBA graduates ranked in the top 5 percent nationally on the MBA students' assessment exam.
- UW Oshkosh students who took the CPA exam placed the University in the top 10 of schools nationally.
- The Advance-Titan has won the top national award for student newspapers five times.
- More than 200 UW Oshkosh graduates have gone on to receive the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship of the Year award for excellence and innovation.
- The best graduate programs in the nation covet our College of Letters and Science graduates.
- UW Oshkosh has won 43 national athletic championships.
*Fall 2011 enrollment numbers are preliminary. Official final enrollment numbers are filed in mid-January.