Chancellor Leavitt: Mapping UW Oshkosh’s Vision for the Future

One year after taking the wheel at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and just months after his formal installation as chancellor of Wisconsin’s third-largest university, Andrew J. Leavitt is ready to drive forward with a new vision for a research-enhanced comprehensive university.

With work already well underway on campus to develop a new, five-year strategic plan, Leavitt set the course in his installation speech Sept. 18, before an enthusiastic campus community and local, state and regional guests at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh.

His map for the future starts with defying the boundaries of what a regional comprehensive institution can accomplish—a future that will put UW Oshkosh on the national stage.

A comprehensive university, as outlined by Leavitt, is a very special type of university:

• With our focus on teaching, learning, discovery and engagement, we develop civically engaged leaders.

• We balance teaching and research to provide high-impact opportunities for our students.

• We serve as an economic and cultural force in our regions and our state, and;

• We are committed to accessibility, as we educate a diverse and culturally rich student body that makes a positive difference in the world.

Leavitt’s roadmap includes redefining UW Oshkosh to be… what he calls… a research-enhanced comprehensive university.

“Building on our reputation for academic excellence, we will have a renewed emphasis on faculty research and staff innovation that will include increased research and service productivity carried out in the context of student learning,” Leavitt said.

Additionally, a summer’s worth of methodical strategic planning took place under the leadership of Provost Lane Earns, outlining four priorities for UW Oshkosh:

Enhance Student Success—Achieve learning outcomes that lead to the retention, progression and graduation of students on their chosen pathway in four years. “This pathway should be characterized by rigor and high expectations, student support and development, high-impact practices and assistance with placement into the next phases of the student’s life,” Leavitt said.

Promote Research and Innovation—Renew emphasis on increased research and service productivity focused on select themes carried out in the context of student learning. “We will also continue to prove that we are listening and reacting to the demand for new programs and new skills in our graduates,” he said.

Expand Community Engagement and Economic Development—Enhance the University’s role as a community partner and economic driver in northeastern Wisconsin. “We will work hard for UW Oshkosh to be an acknowledged leader in economic development of the region and state through talent development and economic innovation,” he explained. “We’ll also enhance existing relationships with community, government, business and industry and other external constituents.”

Grow Workplace Joy—Focus inward on building an inclusive and supportive environment on campus for working and learning. “This deliberate initiative will be a key component over the next few years while we look for ways to operate more efficiently and allow for personal and professional growth opportunities for everyone on campus,” Leavitt said.

As outlined in his installation speech, Leavitt said the new collective vision will lead UW Oshkosh to a future as a national model for a competitive, comprehensive university that leverages the resources of the surrounding community.

“I find myself talking a great deal about the Opportunity of Place that UW Oshkosh has,” Leavitt said. “Our campus is a part of an urban region that provides endless opportunity for our faculty and students. We have the critical mass to do great things… and we do, every day.”

Check out a video and photo gallery of Chancellor Leavitt’s installation.

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