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Three campuses. One university.

It’s historic.

It was truly an honor to join students and faculty and staff members at UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28, respectively, to mark each campus community’s Opening Days. This was the first opportunity to kick off a new academic year at each campus and honor the excellence of faculty and staff members following this summer’s official approval of the restructuring that joined both campuses and UW Oshkosh.

Faculty and staff members of the Fox Valley campus join University of Wisconsin Oshkosh leaders on stage at Perry Hall theatre following the Opening Day program on Aug. 27, 2018.

I am grateful to campus administrators and Collegium leaders for the welcoming spirit and the sense of new potential they have nurtured. While we still have plenty of work to do to operationally and financially fuse three campuses into one university, we have already set the standard when it comes to our process. The ethos of nearly 40 volunteer work groups is built on graciousness, hyper-collaboration, fairness and equality.

As I shared with each access campus community on their respective opening days, each is a community of fierce, dedicated educators and support staff committed to students’ access and success. I look forward to enshrining their access missions into a single, grand mission statement for the new university in the next one to two years.

I am also very much looking forward to reengaging in strategic planning with members from all three of campus communities. The process ahead is going to help us bring the priorities and goals of the new university into clear focus. This is not only for the good of the university but also for our many stakeholders throughout the region and state.

Our standing strategic commitments to quality, access, affordability, inclusive excellence, research and support of economic development for more people are certainly going to continue. However, we need to consider the many new directions, opportunities and initiatives the new university can embark on. We have to consider the needs of the Fond du Lac, Menasha and Fox Valley communities that invest in us.

Our marketing, communications and information technology teams went above and beyond to help capture opening day programs at both UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac. You can see video recordings and photo galleries at the following links:

Also, you can see coverage of both opening day programs and learn more about honored faculty and staff at UW Oshkosh Today.