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Students aren’t the only ones learning and growing through higher education.

Faculty at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh serve as research ambassadors to help the University grow at the local, state and national level.

Because UW Oshkosh is primarily a teaching institution, faculty research sometimes gets overlooked by those outside of the campus community. Director of UW Oshkosh’s Office of Grants and Faculty Development Linda Freed is pushing to change that perception.

“We have a faculty who are quite active and capable of engaging in nationally competitive research,” Freed said. “But our teachers have a greater challenge than those at a doctoral institution in terms of balancing teaching and research.”

Faculty research supports the University’s mission of sharing intellectual and specialized capabilities with individuals, organizations and communities in the New North and beyond. Freed helps faculty to market their research to interested agencies.

On Jan. 15, Freed will attend “The Wisconsin Edge: Academic R&D (Research and Development),” hosted by the Wisconsin Innovation Network’s Northeast Chapter. The discussion will focus on how businesses can tap into Wisconsin’s research assets.

Freed plans to promote the University as a research hub.

“In order to remain viable as a teaching institution, we have to support faculty research,” Freed said. “Part of that is helping our faculty match up their interests with outside agencies, whether commercial or government-based.”

UW Oshkosh’s support for research is evident in its connections with outside agencies as well as programs available to campus. Through the Faculty Development Plan, faculty can apply for funding to support summer research, including money for supplies and equipment.

“We also support student/faculty collaborations to keep research active on campus,” Freed said.

The Undergraduate Research Program bridges the gap between teaching and research, providing a unique experience for both the teacher and student.

The Office of Grants has also partnered with the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium (WSRC) and the WisSys Technology Foundation to continue developing provocative research opportunities for faculty at UW Oshkosh.

“We work with them to co-sponsor events and bring faculty together from different states to discuss collaboration,” Freed said.

President of Wisconsin’s Technology Council Tom Still said the latest reports show state support for the UW System has been declining over the last decade. If state support doesn’t increase, it could mean less high-wage, private-sector jobs would be created due to decreased research and development grants and less sharing of technologic skills and knowledge.

“Thanks to decades of investment in people and facilities, Wisconsin has developed a strong base for academic R&D, but it’s time to broaden that base,” said Still, who also will be involved in the “Wisconsin Edge” discussion.

  • “The Wisconsin Edge: Academic R&D” will be held Jan. 15 at Fox Valley Technical College, 5 Systems Drive, Appleton. Registration and networking begins at 4:45 p.m. in the D.J. Bordini Center.
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