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Increased enrollment of students of color and nontraditional students, improved retention rates, a significant increase in grants and private dollars, and an investment in 27 tenure-track faculty positions are just some of the successes of the 2007-2008 academic year highlighted in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s just-released Strategic Plan Update and Annual Report.

“Although the University has faced a series of budget cuts and tuition increases since 2000, UW Oshkosh has had many remarkable accomplishments in the past nine years,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “With our focus firmly fixed on providing excellence at an affordable price for our students — and with a successful process for making sound financial decisions — I remain confident that our campus community can withstand the challenges posed by the current economic crisis.”

Among the highlights outlined in the 2007-2008 Strategic Plan Update and Annual Report are:

  • UW Oshkosh has seen larger enrollments and an increased number of students of color and adult students, as well as higher retention rates for first-year students. Overall headcount enrollment has increased by 8.4 percent to 12,669.
  • Degrees conferred increased 21.1 percent and retention rates for first-year students improved from 72.2 percent to 76.8 percent. The retention rates for students of color increased from 69.1 to 78 percent and is now higher than the rate for all students.
  • Enrollment of students of color increased by 466, up 106.4 percent, enrollment of adult students age 25-plus increased by 340, up 24.5 percent.
  • The University has added tenure-track faculty positions and expanded support programs. The University received $3.8 million in Growth Agenda funding primarily 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 University has received more grants and private dollars than ever before. While grants increased 48.9 percent to $13.1 million, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation saw pledges increase from $1.7 million annually to $7.9 million.
  • UW Oshkosh was recognized as a national model for developing and highlighting exemplary campus-wide liberal education programs. The University adopted a set of student learning outcomes in May 2008 based upon the Essential Learning Outcomes of the American Association of Colleges and Universities and developed agreed-upon definitions, identifying clear student performance indicators for each.
  • The University received national recognition for our commitment to “green” principles by becoming the nation’s first Fair Trade University and completing a comprehensive carbon footprint study.

“I am especially proud of the continued accomplishments of our faculty and students,” said Provost Al Hartman. “With more Regents’ Teaching Excellence Award-winners than any other UW institution — including a eighth winner this year — and students who consistently score at the highest levels on national exams and licensure tests, this report reflects the excellence of the people who study, work and live on this campus.”

“As we look to the future, we thank Gov. Jim Doyle, the Legislature and the investment of private donors, we expect to even further enhance the educational experiences of our students, which is vital to the economic development of the region,” added Wells. “I have a hard time finding new words to express my deep appreciation and great admiration of our UW Oshkosh students, faculty, academic staff and classified staff. As tough as it has been and will continue to be for us, our students and their families are facing even more difficult challenges. We will do everything we can to help our students as we adjust our budget strategy to navigate the uncertain times.”

To view the entire UW Oshkosh Strategic Plan Update and Annual Report, visit