The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

“Universities of Wisconsin” announces rebranding

The change emphasizes the universities, rather than the system
Photo by Jhett Sherry
Schmidt, Rothman and Walsh at the rebranding announcement on Tuesday.

UW System President Jay Rothman has announced there will be an administrative rebrand “in an effort to better reflect that collective pride,” including changing the name from the “University of Wisconsin System” to the “Universities of Wisconsin.”  

The announcement was part of the UW System’s OpportUWnity Tour. The announcement took place at 1:15 p.m. on Tuesday, October 10 in the Alumni Room of UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Student Center.

“The idea is to shift the focus from the system to the universities that serve Wisconsin students and families and to develop Wisconsin’s workforce,” Rothman said. “There is tremendous pride, and rightfully so, in the collective role our 13 public universities play in the economic and social fabric of Wisconsin.”

Rothman said that this rebranding was to shift the focus from the system to the universities themselves and the impact they have.

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While the change may seem small, Rothman said the purpose of the rebranding was to help change how the UW System is viewed, both by itself and Wisconsinites. 

“We’re calling ourselves Universities to focus on the pride that our state has in our universities,” Rothman said.  

This new rebranding has yet to go into effect. 

About the launch date, Rothamn said, “We’re thinking about February. This is a soft release, just getting people adjusted to (Universities of Wisconsin). This will be an evolutionary process, but the more focused process will start in the early part of next year.” 

Pride in Wisconsin universities was a sentiment that Rothman echoed several times. 

“I hope we continue to focus on the pride in the UW System. I grew up here, and lived here my entire life,” Rothman said. “I’ve always been proud of the UW system. I think it’s really reflecting that pride. Every person in this state can be proud of what our universities do.”

Chancellor James Schmidt agreed that the change would help connect Wisconites’ pride in the UW System.

“System sounds something nameless and faceless. Instead of referring to the UW System when referring to all the work we do around the state, it’s frankly common sense in my mind to talk about the Universities of Wisconsin,” Schmidt said. 

“Everyone around the state has a connection to a local university, and it helps reconnect those dollars and that framework of someone saying ‘ You know what, I may not agree with everything going on in the state, but I know that UW- Eau Claire, UW-Stout, UW-Riverfalls etc. are really important for this region,’” Schmidt said. 

Towards the end of the announcement, Karen Walsh, the UW System Board of Regents president, addressed fears that the new branding would create a certain uniformity across the campuses. 

“If you’re worried we’re losing the individual identities of our campuses, we are not. Our campuses evolved to serve the region they’re in. They’re very connected to those regions. All we are presenting here is a new way of looking at what is already one of Wisconsin’s greatest assets,” Walsh said. 

“We are the Universities of Wisconsin. 13 universities and one mission. That mission is student success,” Walsh said. 

The next stop in the OpportUWnity Tour will be at UW-River Falls on Monday, Oct. 23.

Sherry can be reached at [email protected].

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