Restructuring to change course catalogs across campuses

Joseph Shulz, Regional Editor

The 2018-2019 school year has been a transition year for UW Oshkosh and its access campuses as administrators have been working to build a universal course catalog between the three campuses.
Assistant Chancellor for Access Campuses Martin Rudd said he’s taken an oversight role in restructuring UW-Fox Valley, UW-Fond du Lac and UWO.

“My role in that has been to interface two things: one is the restructuring that formed the first six to nine months of 2018,” Rudd said, “Where the UW System was very active in making decisions that would affect how the big picture restructuring would look for all of the institutions and to simultaneously work within our three campuses in two areas: restructuring strategy and restructuring practicalities and details.”

Rudd said UW System President Ray Cross outlined a vision of the restructuring that would maintain the affordability of the access campuses, while continuing to prepare students to transfer to four-year universities.

“That’s at the System level, and then locally it’s complicated because we are bringing together two campuses, UW-Fox and UW-Fond du Lac, that used to be part of a 13-campus UW Colleges,” Rudd said. “Everything about that institution has to be unraveled. The curriculum, the course offerings, the finances, the people, the shared governance, all of that has had to be unraveled and reengaged in UWO.”

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the UWO Access Campuses Bill Bultman said he’s been helping to figure out how to convert courses offered at the access campuses with corresponding courses at UWO.

“Some of them fit in roughly equivalent,” Bultman said. “Some were a one-for-one exact fit, like Intro to Sociology was Intro to Sociology. Others were the opposite extreme. We had a couple dozen courses where we offered them, and there was nothing close to it in the UWO catalog, so we created new courses that will appear in the Oshkosh catalog that weren’t there before.”

Rudd said faculty at UWFV and UWFDL have taken an active role in the restructuring.

“The restructuring is greatly affecting the work of faculty and staff on these campuses,” Rudd said. “They see students every week, but they’ve had to be involved in course mapping.”
Bultman said the three campuses are already sharing faculty and will continue to do so in the coming years.

“I know one of our sociology professors from the Fox Valley campus is teaching at Oshkosh,” Bultman said. “We have a business faculty member from the Oshkosh campus who is teaching up here because we had an unexpected opening in one of the classes, and he needed a class to teach.”

Bultman said students on the access campuses aren’t taking Quest classes to meet requirements for their associate degrees.

“In the long term we’re working toward moving some of the four-year degrees onto the access campuses as well,” Bultman said. “That’s probably a couple years off before we start to do those. We’ll trickle and dabble in it slowly with ones that seem to make sense. In the future there is hope that some of the four-year degrees will be offered at the two-year campuses as well.”

Associate Dean for Student Affairs at UWFV Carla Rabe said as part of joining with UWO, students will be getting UWO student IDs this summer, and in the spring they will be registering for classes on TitanWeb.
“Students on the UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac campuses are encouraged to set up a UW Oshkosh Net ID now,” Rabe said. “They should refer to their email account for set up instructions. If they need assistance, they can contact a staff member in the Solution Center on the access campus or the Oshkosh campus IT helpdesk.”

Rudd said the restructuring has gone well so far and that it’s a slow process because it has so many moving pieces.

“This restructuring is a very heavy lift for us, but it’s also enjoyable because the voices of UWFV and UWFDL people are being heard and respected; their ideas are being taken into account,” Rudd said. “This process doesn’t feel top-down. The chancellor said it would be loud and messy, and it does get loud and messy because there’s lots of ideas.””