The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is both a major undergraduate and a regional graduate campus in the statewide University of Wisconsin System, which ranks among the top education systems in the nation; it is one of thirteen four-year campuses in the System. Control of the System rests with the state, a Board of Regents and an administrative head with the title of President. Each campus is administered under the leadership of a chancellor.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has a long and distinguished academic history, having served Wisconsin since opening its doors as Oshkosh Normal School in 1871. Keeping abreast of educational trends, the school was designated Wisconsin State Teachers' College in 1925, and upon the approval of curricula in the liberal arts in 1949, became Wisconsin State College, Oshkosh. Recognizing the growth in enrollment and programs and the inauguration of several graduate degrees, the college was designated as Wisconsin State University Oshkosh in July of 1964. Upon the merger of the Wisconsin State University and University of Wisconsin systems, the campus became the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 1971.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is located in the city of Oshkosh in the heart of the Fox River Valley, a thriving business, manufacturing, and cultural center. Situated in the near northwest section of the city, the modern campus of more than 45 buildings is arranged along a central mall and boulevard and bordered on the west by the Fox River.
Governing Ideas for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh*
(In addition to the system and core missions, UW Oshkosh has the following select mission*.)
Ours is a comprehensive public university with unique ties to both urban and rural environments. We have a tradition of strong programs in the arts and sciences and in select professional career fields. Our faculty and staff are united in believing that the fundamental purpose of a university education is to develop thinking men and women capable of independent growth and adaptation in all roles of life.
Accordingly, our select mission as a university is:
- To acquire, preserve, and disseminate knowledge.
- To provide undergraduate course-work designed to develop learning proficiencies and to cultivate the values and perspectives of educated citizens--in particular, respect for human dignity and cultural diversity, commitment to personal excellence, and the habit of taking thought.
- To challenge students to develop their talents, intellectual interests, and creative abilities; to promote an appreciation for both continuity and change; to provide the impetus for a lifelong commitment to, and enthusiasm for, learning; and to prepare persons for critical evaluation and decision making.
- To expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship, and creative endeavor that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs, and its special mission.
- To provide a broad range of undergraduate degree programs in the arts and sciences, business administration, education, and nursing.
- To offer an array of master's and specialist level graduate programs which grow clearly from areas of undergraduate strength and meet the emerging needs of the regions, which we serve.
- To develop and offer programs and services responding to the needs of the people, institutions, and communities which we serve.
Abridged Select Mission Statement**
In sum, the Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh is to serve people by:
- Providing students with access to a high-quality, affordable, comprehensive education that enables them to develop their general intellectual capacities, specific interests, and abilities through academic programs and personalized student development services.
- Fostering the scholarly activities of faculty, students, and staff related to teaching, research, intellectual activities, creative expression, and service.
- Sharing its intellectual and specialized capabilities with individuals, organizations, and communities in our Wisconsin region and beyond in a way that is responsive to the needs of the people we serve.
* The existing Select Mission as adopted by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.**The Abridged Select Mission Statement would be added to the existing Select Mission statement.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Vision: Engaging People and Ideas
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be a national model as a responsive, progressive, and scholarly public service community known for its accomplished record of engaging people and ideas for common good.
It will be admired for:
- Enrichment and Leadership
that emphasizes intellectual, civic, ethical, and personal development for students, faculty, and staff.
- The Centrality of the Student-Faculty Relationship
that is distinguished by active learning, mutual respect, and collaborative scholarship.
- Teaching Excellence
that is characterized by diversity, discovery, engagement, innovation, dialogue, and dissemination.
- Scholarly Achievement
that furthers new knowledge through diverse methods of inquiry and is applicable to multiple audiences.
that mutually serves, stimulate, and shape the University and the broader public.
Six Sets of Core Values
(The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh community value.)
1. Knowledge and Continuous Learning.
We believe that the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, meaning, and personal development should be encouraged across all stages of life.
2. Diversity and Inclusivity.
We believe that a university community connects the perspectives and backgrounds of diverse social and academic groups of people. To meet this aim, a university community must be inclusive in its composition and support a civil atmosphere and a tolerant environment for learning.
3. Quality and Achievement.
We believe that the university should provide a wide range of high-quality educational and scholarly opportunities that stimulate activity and recognize achievement by students, faculty, and staff.
4. Freedom and Responsibility.
We believe that members of a university community must be free to pursue academic, artistic, and research agendas that are essential to the University Mission, while contributing to an open and collegial environment that promotes reasoned inquiry, intellectual honesty, scholarly competence, and the pursuit of new knowledge.
5. Engagement and Support.
We believe the vitality of ideas is supported by mutually reinforcing relationships that involve students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the broader community. The student-faculty relationship is the most central relationship in the university. This spirit of engagement must also extend beyond the borders of our campus as we seek to stimulate, serve, and shape our society.
6. Social Awareness and Responsiveness.
We believe that educators and students should explore and engage the challenges that confront regional, national, and global communities, using their intellectual and creative capabilities to understand, investigate, and solve problems. Social awareness will allow us to respond to domestic and international needs for equitable and sustainable societies.
Five Strategic Directions
1. Develop a Diverse, Engaged Community of Lifelong Learners and Collaborative Scholars.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will be regionally based and globally connected. We are a community of critical, creative, and constructive thinkers who approach academic and social issues in an informed and principled way. Our learning community is distinguished by a pervasive commitment to diversity and inclusivity, international perspectives, support for those with disabilities or special needs, and engaged community service.
2. Enhance Teaching Excellence, Active Learning and Dynamic Curricular Programs.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will enhance the scholarly and physical environment we provide for teaching excellence, active learning, and dynamic curricular programs. The university will encourage, support, and intensify efforts to engage students inside and outside of the classroom.
3. Foster Research, Intellectual Activity, and Creative Expression.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will sustain, support, and enhance a vigorous scholarly environment for research, intellectual activity, and creative expression. We will encourage faculty, students, and staff to generate and maintain connections to professional communities and the people, institutions, and communities we serve. Faculty, staff, and students will seek opportunities to work together to discover, share, and apply knowledge.
4. Expand Regional Outreach and Domestic and International Partnerships.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will expand and support collaborative relationships that contribute to the development of knowledge and its application in new situations while maintaining its core values. We encourage principled and responsive relationships that draw on the ideas, ambitions, and talents of the university and its external partners.
5. Promote Representative Leadership, Responsive Shared Governance, and Flexible Resource Stewardship.
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh will promote accessible, representative, and altruistic leadership, responsive shared governance, and flexible resource stewardship. We will be broad, open, and inclusive in governance processes and will align our human, physical, and financial resources to meet our established priorities.
Administrative Leadership Principles
- Maintain an open, inclusive, non-threatening environment
- Embrace responsive shared governance
- Treat people with respect and integrity
- Encourage risk taking
- Respect the ideas, roles and talents of all members of the team
- Nurture, promote and integrate diversity of people and ideas
- Preserve the ideals of altruistic leadership
- Recognize, reward and celebrate success
- Advocate for all aspects of the University
- Empower and support others
- Communicate honestly and constructively
- Recognize our accountability to our internal and external constituencies
- Listen carefully and respond clearly
- Make decisions based on the priorities integral to the Governing Ideas of the University
ASSESSMENT OF STUDENT LEARNING:
The University's Assessment Plan calls for the assessment of student learning in General Education and every undergraduate major program. The purpose of the University Assessment Plan is to articulate learning outcome goals for the General Education program and every undergraduate major program and assess whether those learning outcome goals are being accomplished. The University employs multiple measures to determine if learning outcome goals are being accomplished.
Essential Learning Outcomes for Students
The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh embraces the following definition of liberal education:
Liberal education is a philosophy of education that empowers individuals with broad knowledge and transferable skills, and a strong sense of values, ethics, and civic engagement. These broad goals have been enduring even as the courses and requirements that comprise a liberal education have changed over the years. Characterized by challenging encounters with important and relevant issues today and throughout history, a liberal education prepares graduates both for socially valued work and for civic leadership in their society. It usually includes a general education curriculum that provides broad exposure to multiple disciplines and ways of knowing, along with more in-depth study in at least one field or area of concentration. [Source: Advocacy “What is a liberal education?” ]
Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical and Natural World
• Through study in fine and performing arts, humanities, mathematics and science, and social science
Focused by engagement with big questions, both contemporary and enduring
Skills, both Intellectual and Practical, including
• Identification and objective evaluation of theories and assumptions
• Critical and creative thinking
• Written and oral communication
• Quantitative literacy
• Technology and information literacy
• Teamwork, leadership, and problem solving
Practiced extensively, across the curriculum, in the context of progressively more challenging problems, projects, and standards for performance
Responsibility, as Individuals and Communities, including
• Knowledge of sustainability and its applications
• Civic knowledge and engagement—local and global
• Intercultural knowledge and competence
• Ethical reasoning and action
• Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
Developed through real-world challenges and active involvement with diverse communities
Learning: Integrated, Synthesized, and Advanced, including
• Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies
Demonstrated through the application of knowledge, skills, and responsibilities to new settings and complex problems.
[Note: Learning Outcomes are adapted from AAC&U report, College Learning for a New Global Century].
The primary measures of General Education Program learning outcome goals include:
- A test of written verbal skills administered to students in the Advanced Composition course in the English Department;
- A test of academic skills administered to students in selected classes after they have completed the General Education Program courses. (When a class is selected, all students enrolled in that class are required to take the test or an electronically selected sample of students may be administered the test.); and
- Surveys administered to faculty, students, and alumni to determine their satisfaction with General Education courses and attainment of student learning outcome goals.
Undergraduate Majors Assessment Plans
Every undergraduate major program has articulated learning outcome goals for their students and develops multiple measures to access whether those goals are being accomplished. Examples of measures developed by major programs include:
- Standardized and locally prepared examinations.
- Portfolios displaying student work products.
- Oral presentations.
- Capstone experiences.
- Exit Interviews.