The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents’ October decision to restructure the UW Colleges and join them with four-year comprehensive institutions ushers in an exciting and historic time for this Lake Winnebago region, Northeast Wisconsin and the entire state. UW Oshkosh, UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac now have an opportunity to, together, grow a new and stronger institution: three campuses, one university.

We are beginning to craft the structure and launch the work necessary to combine and extend the talents and transformative power of these three beacons to better support our region, state and, most importantly, students.

We have a long and rewarding road ahead of us, one that will be distinguished by challenging and galvanizing work. These three outstanding campus communities already have strong academic and collaborative ties; yet, there is more we need to learn about one another’s exceptional qualities and strengths. Fundamental principles will characterize our efforts: we will be inclusive; we will be transparent and accountable; and we will test ourselves at every turn to make certain our decisions deliver the maximum benefit to each distinct campus. The good, giving people who learn, teach, work and serve within them deserve nothing less.

UW System has formed a Steering Committee to oversee the implementation of the restructuring throughout Wisconsin. It is populated with dedicated representatives from UW System Administration, each of the four-year campuses, the UW Colleges and UW Extension. Meanwhile, UW Oshkosh, UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac students, faculty and staff are beginning to develop their own synchronized process and work groups to locally help make many decisions and complete numerous restructuring tasks. In time, this collaborative work will deliver us to our ultimate goal and destination: three campuses, one university.

Expect to hear more about opportunities to share your voice and be heard in the weeks and months ahead. We will be scheduling open student forums, campus leadership meetings and community town halls in the Fox Cities, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh. Meanwhile, you can learn more about the restructuring effort statewide by visiting the UW System’s website:

I look forward to joining leaders from each of campus communities, our neighboring cities and counties, the state legislature and businesses and nonprofits to listen, learn and imagine how this grand, transformational opportunity can propel this region and its people for generations to come.

Chancellor Andy Leavitt