When I still left my parents’ farm in Elroy to go to UW-Madison, we ended up so poor that I carried my possessions in a paper bag rather of a suitcase. I went on to gain a legislation diploma, provide in the legislature, get elected to 4 conditions as governor, lead the U.S. Department of Overall health and Human Expert services as its Secretary, and grow to be president of the College of Wisconsin Technique.
It is been an honor to serve as UW Procedure president these previous 20 months, and in my closing months in business office, I’ve been going to our 13 universities, meeting with community and small business leaders, college and team, and learners. I wished to thank our staff members and students for their resilience for the duration of the pandemic, issue out our achievements, and share a number of ultimate views about increased education in our point out.
Very first, it’s time we cease apologizing for the UW and start out bragging about it. The UW Procedure is Wisconsin’s greatest asset other than its people today. We need to have to allow all people know what a wonderful benefit for pupils we have listed here, potentially with a strong marketing campaign, since the returns to our point out when our UW succeeds are incredible.
I want our state’s younger people today and their moms and dads to listen to how vitally critical a college training is to their person progress, to our Wisconsin communities, and to our state’s economic wellbeing. To grow to be the engineers, medical professionals, teachers, writers, data researchers, and conservationists of tomorrow, you want a college degree. And our universities are the crucial to furnishing essential considering capabilities that assist acquire citizens in an details-wealthy modern society. A university degree is a lot more crucial than ever.
Even though the UW Technique stays crucial, we are struggling with problems. So right here are a few points I want everyone to consider about:
A Blue Ribbon Commission should really be set up to research the future of public greater instruction in our condition. The Wisconsin Technological School Technique has been a good partner, but demographic, economic, and other troubles compel us to seek methods to collaborate and innovate.
We must also avoid “regionalizing” our universities, which would have the result of reducing enrollment and access for pupils, but we really should go on to develop on operational efficiencies right here at UW Procedure.
Staying on a UW campus and taking lessons in individual is a quintessential aspect of the greater instruction encounter. We need to continue to guidance the household university since that is the variety of schooling our pupils ought to have and dad and mom hope. But we will have to also obtain strategies to greater offer you training credits online—including to the estimated 815,000 Wisconsinites who have some higher education credit rating but no diploma. We have tested that we provide a high quality education and learning on-line, but we need to have to do more or else we will tumble additional powering.
We have to have to spotlight the one of a kind features that make our universities special. That does not suggest we do away with dozens of majors. But it may possibly imply determining a couple amazing plans and departments at each campus and building them up by adding professors and sources and recruiting much more college students. Extra specific specialization will boost our universities and make them far more interesting.
The previous 20 months has been a whirlwind of action and worries, yet I have now noticed 1st-hand the remarkable prospect that our 13 universities offer students and family members through Wisconsin. Let’s preserve it that way and make it even much better.
The College of Wisconsin Procedure serves about 165,000 students. Awarding virtually 37,000 levels annually, the UW Technique is Wisconsin’s expertise pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning ability, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a improved put to live. Practically 90 % of in-condition UW Program graduates remain in Wisconsin five yrs after earning a degree – with a median wage of much more than $66,000. The UW Technique delivers a 23:1 return on point out financial investment. UW Method universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s lifestyle and economic climate with groundbreaking exploration, new organizations and patents, and boundless innovative intellectual vitality.