Highlights and Facts


At UW Oshkosh, students, faculty and staff come together to form a distinctive institution that prides itself on engaging people and ideas for common good. Our University Highlights, including Facts and Points of Pride, are some of the many achievements that set us apart.

The economic, budget and tuition challenges have been many since 2000. Yet, UW Oshkosh has grown and flourished — a tribute to the determination of students, faculty and academic and university staff members.

A few proud highlights that follow exemplify the University’s many successes.

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 2,218 to 13,902 students, up 19.0 percent.
  • Full time enrollment increased by 1,544, up 16.6 percent.
  • Enrollment of students of color more than tripled from 438 to 1,476.
  • Enrollment of undergraduate adult students age 25-plus increased by 500, up 36.1 percent.
  • Degrees conferred increased from 1,712 to 2,274, up 32.8 percent.
  • The retention rate for first-year students increased from 72.2 to 75.1 percent.

We secured more grants and more private dollars than ever before:

  • Grants increased from $8.8 to $11.2 million, up 27.3 percent.
  • Foundation endowments increased from $6.0 to $14.9 million.
  • Foundation total assets Increased from $7.4 to more than $48 million. Our institution acquired funding for 12 National Merit Scholarships and 93 Academic Excellence Scholarships, a more than three-fold increase. We also secured our first-ever, fully endowed academic program chair — the Viessmann Endowed Chair in Sustainable Technology — supported through a major gift from CEO Martin Viessmann and his wife Annette of sustainable energy and efficiency pioneers the Viessmann Group.

We raised the level of academic preparedness of our first-year students:

  • ACT scores increased from 22.1 to 22.5.
  • Academic Excellence and National Merit scholars increased from 44 to 105, up 139 percent.
  • We added tenure-track faculty positions and expanded support programs:
  • UW Oshkosh received $3.8 million in Growth Agenda funding supporting 27 new tenure track positions.
  • The Student Compact provides $1 million annually through differential tuition to enhance and integrate student academic support services.

We enhanced our facilities by completing and launching approximately $320 million in construction projects from 2000 through 2015, blending $160 million in state investment with $111 million in program revenue (from residence hall fee to business service fee revenues) and more than $45 million in donor-University-private sector partnership investment. The campus and community transformation is characterized by:

  • Halsey Science Center’s renovation to opening of the new academic center Sage Hall to construction and start-up of the Western Hemisphere’s first commercial-scale dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester, which generates energy and revenue from the controlled decomposition of crop, yard and food waste.
  • Student affairs and residence life projects, including: the renovations of Taylor and Fletcher Halls, construction of the new Horizon Village residence hall, planned renovation of Reeve Memorial Union, the purchase and renovation of the 30,000-square-foot Newman Center for Academic Support and Diversity and Women’s Center and construction of the nationally acclaimed Student Recreation and Wellness Center.
  • A two-level parking ramp.
  • The multi-phased renovation of Kolf Sports Center, the transformation of the Oshkosh Sports Complex and the planned, student-fee-funded and “bubbled” Recreational Complex.
  • The construction of the 40,000-square foot UW Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center.
  • The renovation and modernization of Clow Social Science Center.
  • Catalytic community projects with private partners, including the $15 million renovation and revitalization of downtown Oshkosh’s waterfront hotel and convention center and the development of second and third biodigesters at Wisconsin’s largest dairy farm and one of its thousands of smaller, family dairy farms.
  • The transformation of the former Oshkosh Area School District Lincoln Elementary School into Lincoln Hall, a new home for the Division of Lifelong Learning and Community Engagement and the Children’s Learning and Care Center.

We added 12 new academic majors, increased baccalaureate degree completion programs and transformed our general education program into the University Studies Program. Additions include:

  • Three New North-based, collaborative and workforce-responsive baccalaureate engineering technology majors in Mechanical Engineering Technology, Electrical Engineering Technology and Environmental Engineering Technology.
  • Undergraduate majors in theatre arts, environmental studies and environmental health.
  • An accelerated Math and Science Teacher Education Program in collaboration with five UW colleges.
  • Thirteen new graduate certificate programs.
  • A collaborative master’s degree in social work with UW-Green Bay.
  • An accelerated bachelor’s degree for non-nursing graduates as well as an MBA foundations online program.
  • A new Global MBA program and the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Insurance Program.
  • Wisconsin’s only “2-plus-2” Aeronautics Bachelor’s Degree program and its first Bachelor of Applied Studies and Fire and Emergency Response Management degrees.
  • The University’s first doctoral degree, the Doctor of Nursing Practice.

We earned national recognition for our commitment to “green” principles and EPA LEED building design standards while improving water and energy conservation, reducing pollution and recycling:

  • Received the 2003 EPA Leadership Award – one of the first ever presented to a university.
  • Reduced emissions of coal/natural gas boilers by constructing a $2.8-million heat plant stack.
  • In 2012, we became the 25th institution in North America and the first in Wisconsin to earn the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE’s) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) “Gold” rating.
  • 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 as one of 21 colleges on the Princeton Review’s 2013 Green Honor Roll and ranked as high as 14th nationally on the Sierra Club magazine’s Coolest 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 campus-wide liberal education programs and redesigning a groundbreaking, high-impact, high-quality general education experience:

  • 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.
  • Chosen by the AAC&U as one of five campuses across the nation to be profiled in a spring 2013 publication for our collaborative work to innovate and redesign general education into the “University Studies Program” (USP).

We are establishing a national reputation for the way we engage and partner with all types of individuals and organizations to better serve our community, region, state and nation:

  • Founding member Northeastern Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance (NEW ERA), 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 28 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 among the highest in Wisconsin.
  • Senior business majors at UW Oshkosh taking the Educational Testing Services business knowledge assessment ranked in the top 5 percent nationwide, while MBA graduates ranked in the top 2 percent nationally on the MBA students’ assessment exam.
  • UW Oshkosh students who took the CPA exam placed the University in the top 10 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 45 national athletic championships.

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