Remarks by Regent President David G. Walsh

Posters in the Rotunda Event, State Capitol

Thursday, April 25, 2006

Thank you, President Reilly, and thanks to all of the legislators, the faculty, and the staff, and our wonderful student researchers, who show why the UW System is great.

As President Reilly explained, research is one of the most important elements of keeping a university successful. UW-Madison and the rest of the UW System’s campuses have demonstrated this through their exhaustive work in biotechnology, medicine, the environment, and other important fields, in which their discoveries will benefit patients, families, businesses, and citizens in Wisconsin.

UW System research, without a doubt, contributes to a strong economic base in the state of Wisconsin. And expanding this university’s research will result bring a “cycle of benefits.” Investing in a university with a strong research agenda will persuade prominent researchers to come to our state. These researchers will bring with them grant funding and great minds, which, in turn, will further enable us to attract more faculty, and so on. The cycle will also fuel Wisconsin’s economy. Expanding our research capabilities will yield high-wage, high-skill jobs that will encourage our UW System graduates to stay in Wisconsin to live and work. This factor alone can greatly expand the tax base and result in a greater financial picture for Wisconsin.

I think everyone can agree that supporting undergraduate students and a strong Wisconsin economy are good things. The best way to achieve these goals is through a strong university system that enables its students, its faculty, and its staff to conduct the sort of groundbreaking research we read about in the newspapers, that we are so proud of in this system, and that we see here today.

Thank you all for your continued support of the UW System and its students, and thank you for showing that support by attending today. These students worked long and hard conducting the research projects we see here, and I can only hope the resources will be available for them to continue to do so, well into the future. Wisconsin’s economic prosperity depends upon it. Thank you.