A High-Performing Organization

Practice continuous improvement in all we do, for those we serve.

The Abraham Lincoln statue is pictured with Bascom Hall in the background.

1. Strengthen our financial performance, growing revenues, controlling costs, and delivering new and innovative ways to invest in our strategic priorities, while maintaining a commitment to the highest ethical standards.

Example initiatives:

Administrative Transformation Program

The UW is proactively responding to the rapidly evolving higher-education landscape through the Administrative Transformation Program. The program is forming solutions to reduce administrative complexity, build a nimble infrastructure that can respond to change, and strengthen data availability, financial controls, and information security.

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Revenue Innovation

The UW has launched a broad effort to unlock incremental revenue and margin across its operations for reinvestment in core priorities. The effort reflects early trends at universities worldwide that are seeking to identify creative ways to generate new revenue streams to support their missions.

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All Ways Forward Campaign

In 2015, the UW launched the All Ways Forward fundraising campaign. More than 200,000 alumni and friends have combined to donate some $3 billion. These funds have supported thousands of student scholarships, established hundreds of new faculty chairs and professorships to attract and retain the best teachers in the world, and built state-of-the-art facilities.

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IT Optimization and Innovations

The UW is investing in information technology that fosters global collaboration, cutting-edge research, and a personalized educational experience. The strategic use of technology and data is developing more efficient administrative processes on campus. Efforts include standardized IT systems, shared cloud storage, and collaborative tools.

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Compliance Initiatives

The UW Office of Compliance promotes ethical conduct and compliance with all applicable state and federal laws, regulations, and policies. In particular, the office seeks campus compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, HIPAA privacy, Title IX, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and the Wisconsin Public Records Law.

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A red banner with the W crest on Bascom Hill with the sub shining through a tree behind it.

2. Build upon and further support our high-quality and committed workforce that advances our mission and reflects our values.

Example initiatives:

Faculty Diversity Initiative

It’s the UW’s practice to recruit applicants whose creative work and research, teaching, and service will contribute to the diversity of the campus community. To help departments diversify their faculty, the Faculty Diversity Initiative provides support in the form of funds for hiring and outreach.

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Title and Total Compensation Project

The Title and Total Compensation Project is a comprehensive HR effort to modernize the university’s title, pay, and benefits programs. To help recruit and retain outstanding employees, the project will create clear, consistent, and relevant job titles and descriptions; market-based pay and benefit structures; and a framework for career development.

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Finance and HR Job Rotation Program

The UW’s Job Rotation Program places participants in finance and HR departments and functions across campus with a series of rotations over two years. The program enables career growth by providing early career professionals with a broad set of experiences, while benefiting the university by developing a strong talent bench of administrators.

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Professional Development Programs

The Office of Human Resources offers specialized professional development opportunities to all UW faculty and staff. The university hosts thousands of professional development courses, seminars, conferences, online trainings, and events every year, with funding resources made available.

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The Wisconsin women's crew team rows along Lake Mendota at sunrise, the Madison skyline behind them.

3. Expand and deepen relationships with key partners and stakeholders critical to our success and maintain our commitment to shared governance.

Example initiatives:

State Relations

The Office of State Relations is a consistent presence at the Wisconsin State Capitol, advocating for the UW’s interests and demonstrating its value to the citizens of the state. The staff builds relationships while developing strategies to advance the UW’s priorities with the state legislature, the governor, and other state agencies.

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Federal Relations

The Office of Federal Relations advocates on federal policies and issues that affect the UW, serving as the primary liaison between the university and the federal government. The staff works to advance the UW’s interests in Washington, DC, and shares policy and funding developments that may impact the university’s research, education, and outreach efforts.

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Community Relations

The Office of Community Relations serves as the primary liaison between the university and the local Madison community. The staff serves on many city and county committees and is committed to providing access to the university’s grounds, resources, and experts through initiatives like the South Madison Partnership.

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Community Advisors

The Chancellor’s Community Advisors group was formed in 2016 to strengthen relationships with campus and community partners. Members meet regularly to discuss campus climate issues and serve as liaisons to community members to ensure their voices are heard.

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Volunteers from UW's Students for Sustainable Agriculture harvest green beans and weed their 30,000-square-foot garden plot on a sunny autumn morning.

4. Practice sustainability principles in the stewardship of campus resources, recognizing our environmental responsibility to people and the planet.

Example initiatives:

Sustainability Efforts at University Housing

The UW’s Division of University Housing is employing a holistic approach to sustainability and employing environmentally responsible practices throughout its operations. The efforts are significantly reducing waste and energy use in housing facilities and dining halls.

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Green Fund Program

The UW’s Green Fund supports student-initiated projects that address the environmental footprint, social impact, and operating costs of campus facilities. The program has supported solar-panel installation, an energy-efficient greenhouse cooling system, a water-efficient toilet retrofit, a compost collection program, and other projects.

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STARS Rating and Strategic Plan

In 2019, the UW’s first broad sustainability assessment earned the campus a silver rating for its efforts in resource stewardship, education, and research, according to the national Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report. The evaluation is helping the UW establish a more comprehensive sustainability plan for campus.

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