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What will happen to the UWO-Fond du Lac campus? The county executive has big plans for the future

Posted at 8:42 PM, Oct 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-19 21:42:10-04
  • UW Oshkosh-Fond du Lac is ending in person instruction in June of 2024.
  • The UW-system will maintain a small presence on campus.
  • County Executive Sam Kaufman said he's looking to use the space for other projects, like a small business space or childcare center.
  • Kaufman wants to create a specific UW-run program for the space.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

The UW-Oshkosh Fond du Lac campus will take on a new life after in person instruction ends this year.

I’m your Fond du Lac neighborhood reporter Margaret Cahill on the campus, where plans are in the works for the space’s future.

When the Universities of Wisconsin announced the end of in person instruction after this year, many students were left confused.

“I think it's sad,” freshman Claire Jankowski said. “I mean, I love this campus. It's small, but there's a lot of really great people here.”

But Fond du Lac County Executive Sam Kaufman says this could be an opportunity for the community.

“Why that's an opportunity is because now I have the ability to take the space they're not using and open it up to whole new partnerships,” Kaufman said.

Those partnerships could include an entrepreneurship center for small businesses, a daycare center, and more.

“Can we turn this into a revenue-generating facility now for the benefit of the county with it?” Kaufman said.

The UW system will still maintain a presence on campus, and Kaufman says he hopes to help establish a new technical education program instead of being a feeder school to a four-year university.

“I think that if we look at those types of programs when we see them, it really is the direction we should be heading,” Kaufman said.

Students say while they’re sad to leave campus, they’re glad the space is being put to good use.

“I think an area like this that they can utilize for multiple different purposes would be great for a whole community,” freshman Jackson Luedtke said.

Kaufman says more information on what specific programs could be coming to the campus will be decided in the coming months.