UWO Foundation to file for reorganization petition under Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy law

Alex Nemec

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation is set to file a reorganization petition under Chapter 11 of federal bankruptcy laws, according to a press release.

A “policy flip-flop” and “ill-advised political gamesmanship” by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System caused the Foundation to file for reorganization, the press release stated.

Chairman of the Foundation’s Board Tim Mulloy said in the release if it weren’t for the Regents’ short sighted decision to reverse its earlier support and give in to political pressure, bankruptcy could have been avoided.

“When the projects at the core of this matter were first proposed several years ago, the Board of Regents was a strong, public supporter and even participated in celebratory events marking the completion of them,” Mulloy said. “But last summer, the Board suddenly had a change of heart and reneged on its earlier commitments and previously-approved lease agreements, reversing a policy that went back many years.”

Paul Swanson, an Oshkosh attorney representing the Foundation, indicated in the press release the foundation’s endowments and other donations are safe during the reorganization

“This filing will provide a single forum for all involved parties, including the Foundation, to be heard and have their disputes resolved,” Swanson said in the release. “Most important, it will allow the Foundation to continue its charitable mission, which is to serve UW-Oshkosh and its students, free from the claims of its creditors.”

Mulloy said the Foundation has raised more than $20 million for the betterment of UW Oshkosh and takes its obligation to protect their donors and further their mission seriously.

“While we would have preferred to avoid this step, it is the best way for us to get on with our mission and return our focus to helping make UW-Oshkosh an even better university than it already is today,” Mulloy said in the statement.