New Badger Partnership: Executive Summary

UW-Madison’s Principles for Progress

Photo: Bascom HallThe University of Wisconsin-Madison is currently ranked among the top 20 universities in the world, including all public and private universities. Unlike other state agencies, UW-Madison competes nationally and internationally for the best talent among faculty, staff and students. The competition for research funding is also fierce – UW-Madison receives close to $1 billion a year in research funding, which brings with it thousands of jobs.

We recognize the serious short-term budget crisis and fundamental long-term economic problems facing the state of Wisconsin. To safeguard the investment of generations of Wisconsinites, we are confident we can be part of the solution to the state’s economic challenges – not one of its problems – and realize the answer is not to simply ask an already-strapped state for more money. With greater flexibility and efficiency, the university can strengthen its position as a job-generating enterprise for the state.

The UW System has outlined its principles for prosperity and progress. Still, without the forms of flexibility that other major public research universities have – to set market-based tuition, provide more financial aid and compensate faculty separately from pay plans for other state agencies – UW-Madison will lose its competitive edge as a world-class university.

Wisconsin needs the job-creating capacity of a major research university. UW-Madison technologies and inventions account for hundreds of new companies and thousands of jobs – not just in Dane County, but across the state. Some of the state’s most innovative businesses, such as TomoTherapy, have grown from research done at UW-Madison. In addition, the state’s traditional and new industries benefit from and rely on the support of specialized research conducted at the university.

The young people of this state also need the opportunity to study at one of the world’s great research universities. A clear majority of our graduates remain in the state, and in many cases, they go on to become high-quality professionals – lawyers, engineers, doctors, business leaders, nurses, teachers and pharmacists – who live and work in communities across Wisconsin.

With greater flexibility to create more efficient operations and a state commitment to fund its share of our current services, the university would be held accountable for providing quality, access and affordability, producing more Wisconsin graduates, generating more revenue for Wisconsin from outside the state, identifying opportunities for cost savings and supporting research that spurs innovation and supports jobs.

(Comments previously posted to this page have been moved to the post about the first campus forum.)