About UW System

Mission Statements of UW System Institutions

University of Wisconsin System Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Wisconsin System is to develop human resources, to discover and disseminate knowledge, to extend knowledge and its application beyond the boundaries of its campuses, and to serve and stimulate society by developing in students heightened intellectual, cultural, and humane sensitivities, scientific, professional and technological expertise, and a sense of purpose. Inherent in this broad mission are methods of instruction, research, extended training, and public service designed to educate people and improve the human condition. Basic to every purpose of the UW System is the search for truth.

University of Wisconsin System Administration Mission Statement

With the Board of Regents, the UW System Administration leads and serves the UW System institutions, as a champion of higher education and a responsible steward of resources.

Under the direction of the UW System President, the UW System Administration helps to develop, and then implements, monitors, and evaluates policies enacted by the Board of Regents, aligning university programs with the current and future needs of the state and the nation.

In fulfilling this mission, the UW System Administration:

  • Develops strategic plans, analyzing advances in teaching and learning, new technologies, and demographic trends.
  • Acquires and manages the human, physical, and financial resources needed to advance public higher education in Wisconsin, advocating for UW System institutions, students, employees, and stakeholders.
  • Ensures the effective and efficient use of resources, building trust with students, taxpayers, donors, and other funders.
  • Measures, evaluates, and reports the UW System’s progress toward strategic goals and operational objectives, demonstrating accountability and leadership.
  • Cultivates the talent needed to fulfill the UW System mission, helping the institutions attract, reward, and retain faculty, academic staff, classified staff, and academic leaders,
  • Models and leads organizational learning and transformation through inclusive excellence, equity, and diversity, by engaging with students, faculty, staff, and a wide variety of external stakeholders, whose diverse viewpoints and experiences enrich the university’s impact.
  • Facilitates close coordination and cooperation among the UW System institutions, building on existing capabilities and sharing expertise.
  • Coordinates UW System activities and operations with appropriate local, state, and federal governmental agencies.
  • Facilitates effective partnerships with other public and private educational institutions and systems, university governance groups, businesses, students, and others, to create shared solutions to emerging challenges.
  • Interprets and applies laws, regulations, and business practices that govern the UW System, providing reliable guidance and oversight for the institutions.

The Core Mission of the Doctoral Cluster

As institutions in the Doctoral Cluster, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee share the following core mission. Within the approved differentiation stated in their select missions, each university shall:

  1. Offer degree programs at the baccalaureate, master's and doctoral levels.
  2. Offer programs leading to professional degrees at the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate levels.
  3. Conduct organized programs of research.
  4. Promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity.
  5. Encourage others in the University of Wisconsin System and in other state and national agencies to seek the benefit of the unique educational and research resources of the doctoral institutions.
  6. Serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff.
  7. Support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has the following select mission (revised 1988):

The University of Wisconsin-Madison is the original University of Wisconsin, created at the same time Wisconsin achieved statehood in 1848. It received Wisconsin's land grant and became the state's land-grant university after Congress adopted the Morrill Act in 1862. It continues to be Wisconsin's comprehensive teaching and research university with a statewide, national and international mission, offering programs at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels in a wide range of fields, while engaging in extensive scholarly research, continuing adult education and public service.

The primary purpose of the University of Wisconsin-Madison is to provide a learning environment in which faculty, staff and students can discover, examine critically, preserve and transmit the knowledge, wisdom and values that will help ensure the survival of this and future generations and improve the quality of life for all. The University seeks to help students to develop an understanding and appreciation for the complex cultural and physical worlds in which they live and to realize their highest potential of intellectual, physical and human development.

It also seeks to attract and serve students from diverse social, economic and ethnic backgrounds and to be sensitive and responsive to those groups which have been underserved by higher education. To fulfill its mission, the University must:

  1. Offer broad and balanced academic programs that are mutually reinforcing and emphasize high quality and creative instruction at the undergraduate, graduate, professional and postgraduate levels.
  2. Generate new knowledge through a broad array of scholarly, research and creative endeavors, which provide a foundation for dealing with the immediate and long-range needs of society.
  3. Achieve leadership in each discipline, strengthen interdisciplinary studies and pioneer new fields of learning.
  4. Serve society through coordinated statewide outreach programs that meet continuing educational needs in accordance with the University's designated land-grant status.
  5. Participate extensively in statewide, national and international programs and encourage others in the University of Wisconsin System, at other educational institutions and in state, national and international organizations to seek benefit from the University's unique educational resources, such as faculty and staff expertise, libraries, archives, museums and research facilities.
  6. Strengthen cultural understanding through opportunities to study languages, cultures, the arts and the implications of social, political, economic and technological change and through encouragement of study, research and service off campus and abroad.
  7. Maintain a level of excellence and standards in all programs that will give them statewide, national and international significance.
  8. Embody, through its policies and programs, respect for, and commitment to, the ideals of a pluralistic, multiracial, open and democratic society.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has the following select mission:

To fulfill its mission as a major urban doctoral university and to meet the diverse needs of Wisconsin's largest metropolitan area, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee must provide a wide array of degree programs, a balanced program of applied and basic research, and a faculty who are active in public service. Fulfilling this mission requires the pursuit of these mutually reinforcing academic goals:

  1. To develop and maintain high quality undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs appropriate to a major urban doctoral university.
  2. To engage in a sustained research effort which will enhance and fulfill the University's role as a doctoral institution of academic and professional excellence.
  3. To continue development of a balanced array of high quality doctoral programs in basic disciplines and professional areas.
  4. To attract highly qualified students who demonstrate the potential for intellectual development, innovation and leadership for their communities.
  5. To further academic and professional opportunities at all levels for women, minority, part-time, and financially or educationally disadvantaged students.
  6. To establish and maintain productive relationships with appropriate public and private organizations at the local, regional, state, national and international levels.
  7. To promote public service and research efforts directed toward meeting the social, economic and cultural needs of the State of Wisconsin and its metropolitan areas.
  8. To encourage others from institutions in the University of Wisconsin System and from other educational institutions and agencies to seek benefit from the University's research and educational resources such as libraries, special collections, archives, museums, research facilities and academic programs.
  9. To provide educational leadership in meeting future social, cultural and technological challenges.

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The Core Mission of the University Cluster Institutions

As institutions in the University Cluster of the University of Wisconsin System, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, the University of Wisconsin-Stout, the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater share the following core mission. Within the approved differentiation stated in their select missions, each university in the cluster shall:

  1. Offer associate and baccalaureate degree level and selected graduate programs within the context of its approved mission statement.
  2. Offer an environment that emphasizes teaching excellence and meets the educational and personal needs of students through effective teaching, academic advising, counseling and through university-sponsored cultural, recreational and extra-curricular programs.
  3. Offer a core of liberal studies that supports university degrees in the arts, letters and sciences, as well as specialized professional/technical degrees at the associate and baccalaureate level.
  4. Offer a program of pre-professional curricular offerings consistent with the university's mission.
  5. Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its approved mission statement.
  6. Promote the integration of the extension function, assist the University of Wisconsin-Extension in meeting its responsibility for statewide coordination, and encourage faculty and staff participation in outreach activity.
  7. Participate in interinstitutional relationships in order to maximize educational opportunity for the people of the state effectively and efficiently through the sharing of resources.
  8. Serve the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged, disabled and non-traditional students and seek racial and ethnic diversification of the student body and the professional faculty and staff.
  9. Support activities designed to promote the economic development of the state.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has the following select mission (revised 2010):

We foster in one another creativity, critical insight, empathy, and intellectual courage, the hallmarks of a transformative liberal education and the foundation for active citizenship and lifelong inquiry.

We fulfill our mission through a pervasive university commitment to provide:
  • Rigorous, intentional and experiential undergraduate liberal education for life and livelihood;
  • Strong, distinctive professional and graduate programs that build on and strengthen our proud tradition of liberal education;
  • Multicultural and international learning experiences for a diverse world;
  • Exemplary student-faculty research and scholarship that enhance teaching and learning;
  • An inclusive campus community that challenges students to develop their intellectual, personal, cultural, and social competencies;
  • Educational opportunities responsive to the needs of our communities, state, region and beyond; and
  • Academic leadership in transforming liberal education.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has the following select mission (revised 2007):

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay provides an interdisciplinary, problem-focused educational experience that prepares students to think critically and address complex issues in a multicultural and evolving world. The University enriches the quality of life for students and the community by embracing the educational value of diversity, promoting environmental sustainability, encouraging engaged citizenship, and serving as an intellectual, cultural and economic resource.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of La Crosse has the following select mission (revised 2009):

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provides a challenging, dynamic, and diverse learning environment in which the entire university community is fully engaged in supporting student success. Grounded in the liberal arts, UW-L fosters curiosity and life-long learning through collaboration, innovation, and the discovery and dissemination of new knowledge. Acknowledging and respecting the contributions of all, UW-L is a regional academic and cultural center that prepares students to take their place in a constantly changing world community.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has the following select mission (revised 2010):

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh provides a wide array of quality educational opportunities to the people of northeastern Wisconsin and beyond through the discovery, synthesis, preservation and dissemination of knowledge.  The interaction of our dedicated faculty, staff and students fosters an inclusive learning environment that prepares our graduates to meet the challenges of an increasingly global society.

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Select Mission Statement of University of Wisconsin-Parkside

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside has the following select mission:

The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is committed to high quality educational programs, creative and scholarly activities, and services responsive to its diverse student population and its local, national and global communities. To fulfill this mission, the University of Wisconsin-Parkside will:

  1. Offer high quality academic programs rooted in the tradition of a liberal education in the arts, sciences and professions, be responsive to the occupational, civic and cultural needs of the region, and actively seek their continual improvement.
  2. Generate, disseminate and apply knowledge through research, professional and creative activity that benefits communities throughout the region and the world.
  3. Attract and retain a diverse and multicultural population of students, faculty and staff.
  4. Foster a teaching and learning community that provides opportunities for collaborative faculty, student and staff interaction in support of excellence.
  5. Creatively and effectively utilize technology in courses, programs and services.
  6. Prepare students to be successful in their professional, civic and personal lives.
  7. Provide programs that meet the intellectual and cultural needs of people throughout their lives.
  8. Provide and share in cultural and intellectual activities in partnership with our local and regional communities.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville (2002)

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has the following select mission (revised 2002):

  1. The University enables each student to become broader in perspective, more literate, intellectually more astute, ethically more sensitive, and to participate wisely in society as a competent professional and knowledgeable citizen.
  2. The University provides baccalaureate degree programs which meet primarily regional needs in arts and sciences, teacher education, business, and information technology.
  3. The University provides baccalaureate degree programs and specialized programs in middle school education, engineering, technology management, agriculture, and criminal justice, which have been identified as institutional areas of emphasis.
  4. The University provides graduate programs in areas clearly associated with its undergraduate emphases in education, agriculture, technology management, engineering, and criminal justice.
  5. The University provides undergraduate distance learning programs in business administration and graduate online programs in project management, criminal justice, and engineering.
  6. The University provides agricultural systems research programs utilizing the Pioneer Farm in partnership with businesses, universities and agencies.
  7. The University expects scholarly activity, including applied research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs, and its special mission.
  8. The University seeks to serve the needs of all students, and in particular the needs of women, minority, disadvantaged and nontraditional students. Furthermore, the University seeks diversification of the student body, faculty and staff.
  9. The University serves as an educational, cultural and economic development resource to southwestern Wisconsin.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has as its select mission that:

  1. The University provides an excellent environment for learning, emphasizing the importance of faculty-student interaction in classrooms, laboratories, academic advising and co-curricular activities.
  2. The University offers liberal arts programs and degrees to meet regional needs in the arts, humanities, mathematics, natural and physical sciences, and social and behavioral sciences. The liberal arts also strengthen and broaden programs in the agricultural sciences, teacher education and business administration.
  3. The University offers professional programs and degrees in teacher education with special emphasis in early childhood, elementary and secondary education.
  4. The University offers programs and degrees in the agricultural sciences, agribusiness and agricultural teacher education.
  5. The University offers graduate programs in education, agriculture and other areas clearly associated with its mission. Development of cooperative graduate instructional programs with appropriate institutions is encouraged.
  6. The University expects scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate level, its selected graduate programs and its select mission.
  7. The University continues to develop interinstitutional relationships in cooperative research, graduate training and undergraduate programs within the state, region and world. As a border institution, the University promotes interstate cooperation.
  8. The University provides students opportunities to develop an appreciation of the richness and diversity of American culture and is committed to representing this diversity in its staff and student body.
  9. The University offers students the opportunity to increase their global awareness and sensitivity to other cultures. It also has a continuing commitment to provide opportunities for students to live, study and travel abroad and to increase the number and diversity of international students on campus.
  10. The University provides public service by using its resources to address problems and concerns throughout the state and region. Special emphasis is placed on cooperative extension, extension and economic development outreach.
  11. The University offers enrichment to the citizens of Western Wisconsin and the St. Croix River Valley by providing artistic, scientific and other cultural events, programs and exhibitions.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point has the following select mission to:

  1. Provide a broad foundation of liberal studies and selected degree programs in the fine arts, humanities, natural sciences and social sciences, imparting the heritage of human civilization, critical intelligence, and the skills necessary for a lifetime of learning and upon which education in the professional fields may be built.
  2. Provide undergraduate professional programs in communicative disorders, teacher education, home economics*, the visual and performing arts, paper science and natural resources with emphasis on the management of resources.
  3. Provide graduate programs in teacher education, communicative disorders, natural resources, home economics, communication and other select areas clearly associated with this University's undergraduate emphases and strengths.
  4. Provide programs in wellness and health promotion.
  5. Provide quality undergraduate and graduate instruction through innovative methods using print and nonprint library resources, computing, communication technology and direct student assistance.
  6. Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its selected graduate programs and its select mission.
  7. Cooperate with UW-Extension in the development and coordination of statewide outreach programming, integration of the extension function into the institution, and appropriate and adequate recognition of those involved in outreach activities.

*The former home economics programs are now offered as child and family studies, dietetics, early childhood education, family and consumer education, human development, nutrition and interior architecture.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Stout

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Stout has the following select mission (revised spring 2009):

University of Wisconsin-Stout is a career-focused, comprehensive polytechnic university where diverse students, faculty and staff integrate applied learning, scientific theory, humanistic understanding, creativity and research to solve real-world problems, grow the economy and serve a global society.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Superior

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Superior has the following select mission:

The University of Wisconsin-Superior fosters intellectual growth and career preparation within a liberal arts tradition that emphasizes individual attention and embodies respect for diverse cultures and multiple voices.

To accomplish these ends, the University will:

  1. Provide students with a carefully articulated and comprehensive foundation in liberal studies as a base for all degree programs.
  2. Award baccalaureate degrees in selected fields in education, the arts and the humanities, in the sciences and social sciences, and in business.
  3. Offer graduate programs in areas associated with its undergraduate emphases and strengths.
  4. Extend its undergraduate and graduate resources beyond the boundaries of the campus through distance learning programs.
  5. Expect scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree levels, its selected graduate programs and its special mission.
  6. Engage in appropriate interinstitutional relationships to enhance educational and service opportunities.
  7. Foster, with University of Wisconsin-Extension, the development of cooperative and general outreach programming and the integration of the Extension function with that of this institution.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

In addition to the system and core missions, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has the following select mission (revised 2005):

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to the development of the individual, the growth of personal and professional integrity and respect for diversity and global perspectives. These are met by providing academic and co-curricular programs that emphasize the pursuit of knowledge and understanding and a commitment to service within a safe and secure environment.

The mission of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is:

  1. To provide a range of undergraduate programs and degrees, including interdisciplinary programs, in letters, sciences, and the arts as well as programs and degrees leading to professional specialization.
  2. To offer graduate education built clearly upon its undergraduate emphases and strengths with particular emphasis in the fields of business, education, communication, and human services.
  3. To engage in scholarly activity, including research, scholarship and creative endeavor, that supports its programs at the associate and baccalaureate degree level, its graduate programs, and its select mission.
  4. To create and maintain a positive and inviting environment for multicultural students, students with disabilities, and nontraditional students, and provide support services and programs for them.
  5. To serve as a regional cultural and economic resource center through its service initiatives.
  6. To provide continuing education and outreach programs as integrated institutional activities.
  7. To provide a variety of co-curricular activities to enhance out-of-class learning opportunities.
  8. To encourage and maintain a high level of personal and professional integrity in all University life and activities.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin Colleges

In addition to the UW System mission, the University of Wisconsin Colleges has the following select mission (revised 2011):

The University of Wisconsin Colleges is a multi-campus institution committed to high quality educational programs, preparing students for success at the baccalaureate level of education, providing the first two years of a liberal arts general education that is accessible and affordable, providing  a single baccalaureate degree that meets local and individual needs, and advancing the Wisconsin Idea by bringing the resources of the University to the people of the state and the communities that provide and support its campuses.

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Select Mission of the University of Wisconsin-Extension

In addition to the UW System mission, the University of Wisconsin-Extension has the following select mission (revised 2004):

Through the University of Wisconsin-Extension, all Wisconsin people can access university resources and engage in lifelong learning, wherever they live and work.

Fundamental to this mission are UW-Extension’s partnerships with the 26 UW campuses, the county and tribal governments, and other public and private organizations. Fulfilling the promise of the Wisconsin Idea, UW-Extension extends the boundaries of the university to the boundaries of the state and helps the university establish mutually beneficial connections with all its stakeholders.

For millions of Wisconsin individuals, families, businesses and communities, UW-Extension is the doorway to their public university, enabling them to:

  • Achieve personal growth, professional success and organizational effectiveness through formal and informal learning;
  • Address the changing needs of the state and society by applying relevant university research; and
  • Gain greater access to educational, cultural and civic resources through the use of technologies.

In addition, UW-Extension supports the University of Wisconsin System mission by:

  • Providing strong leadership for the university’s statewide public service mission;
  • Integrating a scholarly approach to outreach across many academic disciplines; and
  • Addressing the specific educational needs of under-served, disadvantaged and nontraditional students.

 

Updated March 26, 2012

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