UWO access campus merger has drama

Former faculty upset with name change, money spent on new logo

Alexus Olsen, Regional Editor

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The restructure of the access campuses has sparked debate among alumni, faculty and concerned associated community members.

These concerns include the unpredictable outcomes for students, the name change, use of budget money and the sense of a lost community. The merger was done to benefit students academically and allow multiple budgets to be pulled into one campus.

However, it is not clear how it will benefit students who do not plan to obtain a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree at UW Oshkosh or how it will make up for the close-knit communities created before the merge. UW Fox Cities Campus Executive Officer, Dean Emeritus James W. Perry said the merger was done with more care and consideration than others within the UW System.

“Chancellor Leavitt has been quite deliberative in the process and has made an admirable effort to be inclusive,” Perry said. However, Perry believes there are flaws to the reconstruction.

“The UW System had long had in place TIS, the Transfer Information System and Guaranteed Transfer Programs,” Perry said.

He noted those programs are designed to make it easy for students to transfer within the UW- System.

Perry fears students on access campuses who are taking credits with UWO course numbers may not be able to transfer as easily.

“From what I have heard, some students believe there is no option to go to a campus other than UWO,” he said. Another concern is that the name change is costing too much money that could be put to use in the classrooms.

“I and others thought if the word ‘Colleges’ was replaced by ‘Oshkosh’ it would have made sense, if for no other reason than from a financial standpoint,” Perry said. “Look around and consider the amount of signage that needs to be changed with the completely new name.”

Perry said the sense of community “that was so prevalent at Fox has been lost.” However, he hopes a new sense of community can be created with the merge. He believes that by working together all campuses can accept each other and create a sense of mutual respect.

“Morale among faculty and staff has an impact on how teaching and service to the students takes place,” Perry said.