UW Oshkosh weighing name change

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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is weighing whether a name change is appropriate as it merges with two UW colleges.

It's a part of the UW System restructuring.

On July 1st, all two-year colleges will be merging with four-year universities.

It means UW-Fox Valley and UW-Fond du Lac are becoming part of UW -Oshkosh.

The university says for the time being the campuses will keep their respective names until a decision is made

UW-Oshkosh will be analyzing community input and data over the next year deciding whether UW-Fox Valley, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh keep their names, become part of the UW-Oshkosh name, or adopt something new that better fits all three.

"To have the conversation and make the best possible decision about the future, this is about being attractive and engaging to future students," said UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

The university believes the Oshkosh brand is a strong asset.

The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation agrees, but understands why this conversation is happening.

"Is there a coordinating name that brings everybody together or maybe in the end its Oshkosh,” Jason White, Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corporation CEO, said. “And I think the jury's still out on that."

UW-Oshkosh students are skeptical.

"I would prefer it just stays UW-Oshkosh,” Margot Elliot, a UWO junior, said. “As someone who has been on the campus for what will be three-and-a-half years, it would be nice to graduate with the name of UW-Oshkosh and kind of keep it that way."

"It's a step that isn't really necessary, all the other students from the other schools would be able to graduate under the UW-Oshkosh name,” Jenny Perrault, another junior, said. “We've been around for a pretty long time, and we're the third largest campus."

UW-Oshkosh has had five different names in its history.

Chancellor Leavitt understands there's a lot of pride involved.

"Over 90,000 alums who I'm sure will want, will have something to say," said Leavitt. "So we know it will be a very lively conversation."