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Richard H. Wells, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has been elected to the board of directors for the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality and public standing of undergraduate liberal education. Its members are committed to extending the advantage of a liberal education to all students, regardless of their academic specialization or intended career. Founded in 1915 by college presidents, AAC&U now represents the entire spectrum of American colleges and universities — large and small, public and private, two-year and four-year. AAC&U comprises more than 1,150 accredited colleges and universities that collectively educate more than five million students every year.

“I’m pleased to be a part of this important organization,” Wells said. “UW Oshkosh has long supported the initiatives and campaigns of the AAC&U, which serve to strengthen the delivery of quality education for college and university students across the United States.”

Among the campaigns the AAC&U has launched is the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP). LEAP, begun in 2005, is a 10-year campaign to champion the value of a liberal education — for individual students and for a nation dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality. The initiative focuses campus practice on fostering essential learning outcomes for all students, whatever their chosen field of study. Influenced by the campaign, UW Oshkosh developed its own Learning and Education Reform Team (LERT) in May 2007. The team’s goals are to assess how and how well UW Oshkosh provides a liberal education; create an educational environment that prepares students with the skills they need in a rapidly changing, global society; ensure the educational environment provides graduates with four essential learning outcomes, including the possession of knowledge of human cultures and the natural world; acquisition of intellectual and practical skills; value of personal and social responsibility; and the ability to apply integrative learning skills.

“We want to graduate the type of student who is a talented, liberally educated person with technological skills for the global era,” Wells said. “The type of person who will know when and why to vote for a Republican or a Democrat or an Independent and will either run for office or be an engaged citizen who cares for others.”

“Chancellor Wells has already made UW Oshkosh a recognized leader in the LEAP renewal of undergraduate education,” said Carol Schneider, AAC&U president. “I am so pleased that we can now bring his vision and commitment to the AAC&U Board of Directors, and through the board, to the entire AAC&U community.”

For more information about LERT, visit http://www.uwosh.edu/projects/lert/subcommitteeresources.php.

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