2020FWD Strategic Framework Report Card.

Click on each system-level priority below, for information about the process and progress regarding each area of the 2020FWD framework.

Educational Pipeline

pipeline iconIncrease the enrollment and success of individuals in all educational experiences throughout their lifetimes.

The Educational Pipeline impacts the outcomes-based funding goal of “growing and ensuring student success,” one of four goals established by the Wisconsin Legislature (Wis. Stats. §36.112) for the UW System.

The UW System will expand the current Course Options program to provide additional opportunities for students to complete college coursework while in high school, including finding ways to deliver these courses in small high schools and in rural areas. The UW System will dedicate resources to connect high school teachers to the university, preparing them to teach college coursework.

Process Update: well establishedProgress Update: progress
As of July 2018, the State of Wisconsin combined Course Options and Youth Options into a single Early College Credit Program. Activity in the Early College Credit Program is measured through addition of a data element value to the Central Data Request, an on-going UW System—wide data collection effort.College coursework delivered by UW faculty attracts an increasing number of high school students. In 2016-17, over 8,000 high school students enrolled in UW courses compared to roughly half this number (3,917) in 2011-12. Three-fourths of 2016-17 high school students enrolled in a UW course taught in a Wisconsin high school by a university-approved instructor.

The UW System will work to improve student success and reduce time to degree by expanding the use of predictive analytics, intensive advising, and other advising practices that provide timely support to students. The UW System will also strive to increase student access to career counseling and financial planning.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

A team to implement 360 Advising has been established.  In summary, the team has reviewed best practices and models of excellence and is working to implement a plan to increase student success through advising. Additionally, workshops have taken place and plans move ahead to implement a system-wide 15 to Finish campaign.

The 360 Advising team conducted a landscape analysis to better understand the challenges and opportunities related to advising in the UW System and to inform future planning. To learn how advising is structured on each campus and identify existing needs, conversations occurred with Advising Center Directors at each institution and an extensive advising survey was developed and distributed to each campus.

Information was also gathered on national best practices and models of excellence in advising and student success. In addition, efforts focused on building a connected and engaged network of advising personnel through a meeting of all UW System Advising Center Directors, creation of an advising administrator listserv, participation at the Career Services Directors meetings, and presentations at two state advising conferences.

Now efforts are focused on summarizing what was learned from the landscape analysis and implementing the plan. Conversations with vendors have occurred to offer a predictive analytics package at a cost-effective rate to all UW System campuses.

The team is working on plans to implement a system-wide 15 to Finish campaign to increase the number of students who are on track for on-time degree completion. A UW System Fall Advising Workshop took place in October 2018, when institutions brought teams to learn about successful advising strategies and reflect on their advising model and capacity to support student success.

Progress continues in reducing semesters enrolled by bachelor's degree recipients and increasing retention of new freshmen.

Average semesters enrolled by bachelor's degree recipients have decreased from 9.9 in 1993-94, when the metric was established, to 9.0 in 2016-17. See the dashboard for detail by institution and academic year.

New freshmen entering in fall 2016 returned at a rate of 81.4%, a 2.2% increase from 79.2% ten years prior. The same institution six-year graduation rate for new freshmen entering fall 2011 is 62.5%, higher than the 58.7% rate for new freshmen entering in fall 2001. The Progress & Completion topic of the dashboard provides further information about the retention and graduation of UW students. 

The 360 Advising Team supported institutions in their application to participate in the Excellence in Academic Advising  (EAA) initiative through NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) and the Gardner Institute for Excellence in Undergraduate Education. UW-Eau Claire was selected as one of 12 institutions across the country to be part of the inaugural EAA cohort. The 360 Advising team hopes to learn and possibly scale this comprehensive assessment process to promote excellence in advising.

Additional Exploration:

Career Connect provides a portal to students looking for professional experiences to launch their careers.


The UW System will expand the Transfer Information System (TIS) to increase both the number of articulation agreements and the number of participating higher education entities. The transfer process should be seamless, smooth, and easily navigable for all students at any step of their educational journey.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: limited progress

Solutions potentially attainable through updated transfer information technology, various approaches to curriculum, and transfer of credits between institutions are being explored. 

Options to evolve current transfer technology are being explored, while the process for reviewing, implementing, and maintaining articulation agreements has been streamlined, linkages to the work of 360 Advising are promoting student success, military credit legislation implementation guidelines have been established, and best practices for transfer of general education continue to be reviewed.

The number of new transfer students has somewhat declined. Retention and graduation rates of new transfer students have increased.

New transfer students numbered 13,501 at UW System institutions in 2016-17, a decline from 2011-12 (15,068) and similar to the number in 2006-07 (13,460). See Annual New Transfer Students and Fall New Transfers by Race/Ethnicity for details by transfer source and specific UW institution. 

Retention of new transfer students enrolling full-time increased comparing student entering fall 2016 (78.6) with students who entered in fall 2012 (76.4%). New transfer students graduated within six years at a rate of 67.4% for those entering in fall 2011 and 67.1% for those entering in fall 2007. Rates of retention and graduation for transfer students begin on page 10 of Retention and Graduation: 2017-18.

Additional Exploration:

Transfer Wisconsin

The UW System will expand opportunities for adult/non-traditional students to complete a degree through a variety of adult learning programs, including its competency-based online UW Flexible Option program.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: on hold

The UW Extended Campus, formerly the UW-Extension division of Continuing Education Outreach and E Learning (CEOEL), in partnership with all 13 UW System institutions manages primarily online programs aimed at adult and professionally oriented students. This population is critical to the success of Wisconsin’s workforce and citizenry. Non-traditional undergraduates include students age 25 and older attending a UW doctoral or UW comprehensive university, and undergraduates age 22 and older enrolled at UW branch campuses.

On the for-credit side, the UW Extended Campus manages programs in the following formats:

  • 10 collaborative degree programs at the bachelor’s and master’s levels, with two more coming next year.
  • 9 degree and certificate UW Flexible Option programs, the nationally recognized direct-assessment format that grants credits and allows students to advance towards their degree when they demonstrate that they have mastered projects and learning outcomes.
  • Hundreds of courses in all disciplines through Independent Learning, which offers online courses that students can take and transfer back to their home campuses.

On the noncredit side, UW Extended Campus also manages the University Learning Store, a readily accessible platform containing micro credentials that can roll up to become “badges” in hard and soft skill areas. Learning Store materials have been developed in consultation with Wisconsin business advisory groups.

As part of the UW System restructure, UW Extended Campus has been asked to take on an even larger role within the UW System: to enhance the entire University of Wisconsin System as a reputable and preferred choice in an increasingly crowded online marketplace. 

The UW Extended Campus will become an entity to further increase the number of Wisconsin citizens who have access to and receive quality professional and continuing education from the UW System, via online and other new education models. The UW Extended Campus continues this evolution and rebranding and will announce its new mission and position within the UW System during the first half of FY2019.

Enrollment in online programs managed by the UW Extended Campus has increased in recent years. Non-traditional student enrollment across the UW System declined through the most recent five-year period and lags behind historic highs of the late 80s and early 90s.

While all enrollments across the UW System decreased almost 1% from 2013-2018, enrollments for UW Extended Campus—managed online programs grew almost 49% during this same timeframe. UW Extended Campus—managed for-credit programs enrolled more than 4,000 students last year.

Enrollment of non-traditional undergraduate students in fall 2017 totaled 19,948 compared to 24,747 in fall 2012. Non-traditional undergraduate student enrollment at UW System institutions exceeded 29,000 from fall 1985 to fall 1993. 

Additional Exploration:

Continuing Education, Outreach and E-learning


The UW System will add and/or expand specific academic programs in areas needed in the Wisconsin workforce. In addition, the UW System will raise awareness about high-demand fields with current and prospective students.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

UW System institutions and the Wisconsin Economic Developmemt Corporation (WEDC) work collaboratively to meet Wisconsin's workforce needs.

UW System and WEDC jointly funded a new position to support talent development and to foster attraction and retention of millennials for the Wisconsin workforce. The new staff member came on board late 2017 and led a workforce/talent presentation at the April 2018 Board of Regents meeting in conjunction with a representative from ManPower Group.

UW System's interim Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs recently signed an agreement (supported by President Ray Cross) to provide $50,000 in funding that will be matched by $50,000 in funds from WEDC to develop new engineering curriculum that aligns specifically with 21st century technology needs. This is an innovative and collaborative program that (for the first time) involves Engineering Deans from UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, and UW-Platteville. The Deans will work together with Wisconsin industry and technology companies to develop the new, real-world curriculum. 

Conferral of record numbers of degrees in high-demand fields are one way that UW System institutions power Wisconsin's economy.

High-demand disciplines include the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Health fields.  UW System institutions conferred a record number of degrees in STEM disciplines (9,716) and health professions (3,460) during the 2016-17 academic year accounting for over one-third (37.7%) of degrees conferred. About one-third (31.2%) of degrees in 2011-12 were conferred in STEM (7,512) and Health (2,992) fields. For more details, see Degrees Conferred in STEM and Health Fields.  

The University of Wisconsin System is a powerful economic engine with a $24—billion impact on Wisconsin’s economy each year and providing a 23‑fold return on Wisconsin’s investment in the university, according to the 2018 UW System Economic Impact Study conducted by NorthStar Analytics. The UW System’s $24—billion economic impact in 2016-17 represents 7.7% of the total economic activity in the state.

Additional Exploration:

Academic Programs Tied to Meeting Wisconsin’s Workforce Needs

University Experience

University experiance icon

Grow a more creative and engaging educational experience so all learners can compete and succeed in a global environment.

The focal point of the University Experience is bolstered by the outcomes-based funding goal to “improve and excel at student progress and completion,” one of four goals for the UW System established by the Wisconsin Legislature (Wis. Stats. §36.112).


The UW System will provide additional resources for professional development and technology, as well as support for high-impact practices. Our promise is that every student will be exposed to at least two high-impact learning practices. These include internships, undergraduate research, service learning, capstone projects, and collaborative learning.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: limited progress

For over a decade, UW System institutions have evaluated and adapted educational practices to support student learning and success. High-impact practices (HIPs) offered at UW institutions have spanned all educational experiences and establish graduates’ proficiencies in communication, teamwork, ethical decision making, critical thinking, and abilities to integrate and apply these skills to creatively respond to the need of a dynamic economy and workforce.

Five UW System institutions are making a focused effort to further improve HIPs through a Taking Student Success to Scale grant from the National Associate of System Heads (NASH). The institutions are recording HIPs participation on a student’s record, increasing HIPs participation by underserved students, assessing and reporting student learning in HIPs, and supporting faculty and staff to improve the effectiveness of HIPs on student success. The work of these five UW institutions will guide efforts of the UW System as a whole to provide HIPs to every student.

The proportion of seniors reporting participation in HIPs was unchanged in the 2014 and 2017 UW System results of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).  In each year, 67% of graduating seniors reported participation in two or more HIPs, out of six HIPs included in the NSSE. Eighty-nine percent (89%) reported participation in at least one HIPs. In addition, faculty development opportunities to support the design and assessment of HIPs were included at the 2018 UW System Spring Conference on Teaching and Learning and the 2018 Faculty College. See Participation in High-Impact Practices for further details.

The UW System will develop a premier curriculum for cultural fluency education and evaluate programming for all students, faculty, and staff. This will provide a foundation of civility and respect for all people who take part in university experiences. It is vital to the academic enterprise that all voices be heard and understood. The UW System will put into practice the FLUENT model and support the creation of learning communities and opportunities for dialogue.

Process Update: some process

Progress Update: limited progress

To help set the foundation for work to be done under FLUENT, a Campus Climate Survey Workgroup was launched in March 2018. The workgroup's main goal is to identify a common survey instrument that can be used by all of the institutions in the UW System in assessing the climate on campus for students, faculty, and staff.

Additional action steps completed thus far include:

  • A review of various campus climate survey models, vendors, and successful institutional campaigns;
  • Consultations with two nationally recognized scholars who conduct campus climate surveys for colleges and universities;
  • The dissemination of a survey to help campuses define the key questions and topics to be covered in a common campus climate survey; and
  • The initial drafting of a Request for Proposals (RFP) and question set for vendors.

The next major step will be to complete the RFP and prepare for interviews with campus climate vendors.

Experiences with diverse perspectives increased between 2014 and 2017 among first-year students and remained similar among seniors, as reported by UW students on the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE).

In 2017, first-year students reported greater rates of including diverse perspectives in course discussions or assignments (48% vs. 44% in 2014), trying to better understand someone else’s views (67% vs. 62%), and understanding people of other backgrounds (60% vs. 53%). Seniors reported similar rates in 2017 and 2014 of including diverse perspectives in coursework (50% vs. 51%), trying to better understand another’s views (70% vs. 69%), and understanding people of other backgrounds (59% vs. 57%).

Coming up with tomorrow’s profound ideas and innovations requires out-of-the-box thinking. The UW System will provide professional development opportunities to promote creativity and innovation both within the university and in the broader community.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: limited progress

To encourage innovation in teaching and learning, the UW System has focused on mechanisms and technology that support bringing creative and ground-breaking approaches into the learning space. This has included the development of approaches to connect research activity or an internship experience to each degree program to foster a culture of inquiry and practice as part of the U2/HIPS initiative. Additionally, it has led to partnerships with the Department of Public Instruction to create feedback and teaching innovation reporting and resources to improve the quality of teaching pre-college to ensure highly prepared incoming students. Finally, efforts to expand the availability of Open Educational Resources for faculty and students to allow the rapid implementation and iteration of knowledge and best practice is underway.

Linkages have been established among the UW System, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and PK-12 school districts to promote improved teaching and alignment between PK-12 and higher education. This has included work to articulate a PK-20 educational pipeline as outlined by national higher education organizations and agencies, similar to those found in other states. This has included continuing work on feedback to PK-12 on college preparedness.

Open Educational Resources (OER) foster creativity via a collaborative process among UW System students, instructors, and staff to develop and share course content. The UW System Director for the Council for University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL) and the UW System Director for Learning Technology Development are engaged in several preliminary activities to gauge the current OER landscape within the University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin K-12 institutions, technical colleges, higher education institutions, the Wisconsin Library Association's Community for Open Wisconsin (COW), the Midwest Higher Education Corporation (MHEC), and WCET.

Several aspects of CRE-8 are in-progress or being planned. Research gathered to gauge the current OER landscape during Fall 2019 will be formalized in a report on the state of OER in Wisconsin. Once the report is finalized in Spring 2019, goals and action plans will be developed by a UW System OER team. The OER Team is preparing to submit a proposal for OER funding in 2019 to the U.S. Department of Education, should that grant program continue.

Additional Exploration:

Research Funding Expenditures

The UW System will invest resources to encourage and reward innovation through basic and applied research. From public health to the creative arts, harnessing this powerful community of learners, educators, researchers, and scholars can lead to cutting-edge solutions for Wisconsin and the world.

Process Update: some process

Progress Update: limited progress

Several UW System offices engage in processes to encourage and reward innovation. The Division for Business & Entrepreneurship, formerly part of UW-Extension and now part of UW System Administration, dedicates 37% of consultation time to pre-venture entrepreneurs. Specific training is conducted online, in person, and via phone to serve business clients throughout the state. This structure allows for efficient and accessible delivery of information. Direct work with pre-venture clients primarily occurs with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network and the Center for Technology Commercialization (CTC), which works to turn innovative ideas into full-fledged businesses.

SBDC offices serve the entire state through 11 four-year campuses, two regional outreach areas (Northeast and Southwest), and one office based at the Waukesha County Center for Growth. Additionally, the Business AnswerLine provides access to consultants during business hours and 24/7 online service. The Entrepreneurial Training Program (ETP), delivered through the SBDCs in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), effectively serves clients seeking to start a new business.

Streams of revenue and programs in-place provide avenues of innovation through UW System institutions.

Revenue brought into the state through federal, state, and private sources totaled $715 million by UW-Madison, plus $533.7 million by the UW System not including UW-Madison. This extramural funding contributes to the development of new knowledge, improves the learning experience of students, and creates jobs. Extramural funding comes from outside the institution and includes funding for research as well as instruction and other activities. It may come from federal, state and local governments, business, private foundations, or individuals.

Through educational programs including Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Advance and SBIR Ready as well as step-by-step consulting, CTC helps businesses compete successfully for $2.5 billion in federal SBIR funds as well as other funding.

In 2017, SBDCs fielded 2,502 requests for assistance from new and existing businesses through the Business AnswerLine; 1,265 pre-venture clients received about 6,000 hours of no-cost consultation; 1,627 participants were served through 194 business-education training events; and 281 new businesses were opened with the help of these services.

Almost 40% of Entrepreneurship Training Program (ETP) clients who complete the course and submit a business plan successfully launch their businesses. In 2017, SBDCs delivered 18 ETP courses to 182 clients serving 29 Wisconsin counties.

Converting world-class ideas into tomorrow’s technologies, services, products, and organizations can be a challenge. Students can benefit from expertise in academic technology transfer, intellectual property protection, contract management, and technology commercialization. The UW System will connect students to the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation, the WiSys Technology Foundation, and other organizations to help translate research into economic activity.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

UW System institutions commercialize research discoveries in part through affiliated technology foundations. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) serves UW-Madison. The UWM Research Foundation serves UW-Milwaukee. The WiSys Technology Foundation serves the 11 UW System comprehensive institutions.

Faculty, staff, and students from UW System institutions continue to produce research that stimulates economic activity. In 2016, 127 patents were filed by WARF on behalf of UW–Madison researchers and an additional 187 patents were issued by the U.S. Patent Office. Seventy new licenses or options were executed on existing patents in 2016. Additionally, WARF received 415 invention disclosures generated through innovation at UW-Madison.

Through WiSys and the UWM Research Foundation, in fiscal year 2017, UW System institutions generated 17 U.S. patents and executed 10 new licenses for technologies. In addition, these institutions generated 126 disclosures of inventions or other intellectual property.

Additional Exploration:

Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF)

UWM Research Foundation

WiSys Technology Foundation

Business & Community Mobilization

Business & Community Mobilization iconFurther expand the Wisconsin Idea to address the state’s greatest needs and help Wisconsin businesses and communities become more successful.

The outcomes-based funding goal to “expand contributions to the workforce,” one of four goals established by the Wisconsin Legislature (Wis. Stats. §36.112), is impacted by the 2020FWD strategic framework priority Business & Community Mobilization.

What if the full breadth of the UW System’s efforts were focused like a laser on our cities’ most important priorities? UniverCity Year is a program in which faculty and students from across the UW System partner with a designated community on specific projects for an academic year. The UW System will adopt and scale up the UniverCity Year model to all four-year campuses.

Process Update: on hold

Progress Update: limited progress

The UW System adoption and scaling to all four-year campuses of the UniverCity Year model practiced at UW-Madison  is on hold. 

UniverCity Year is a three-phase partnership between UW-Madison and one community in Wisconsin.  In phase one, the community partner identifies projects that would benefit from UW-Madison expertise, and UniverCity Year staff match projects with faculty across the university. In phase two, faculty incorporate these projects into their courses with graduate students and upper-level undergraduate students. During phase three, UniverCity Year staff provide project implementation support. Throughout the partnership, UniverCity Year staff provide administrative support to help keep the collaboration running efficiently and effectively. The result is on-the-ground impact and momentum for a community working toward a more sustainable and livable future.

Progress is limited, as efforts for this system-level priority have not been scaled beyond UW-Madison.  

UniverCity Year is a member of the Educational Partnerships for Innovation in Communities Network (EPIC-N). This year UW-Madison hosted EPIC-N and invited representatives from other UW System Institutions to participate with the goal of more of them becoming members of the UniverCity Alliance and starting UniverCity Year initiatives in their own communities.

Since its start at UW-Madison in 2015, partners have included the following:

Efforts for this system-level priority have not been scaled beyond UW-Madison.

The UW System will produce more health care professionals to meet increasing demand, especially in rural and underserved areas. To achieve a healthier population across the state, the UW System will initiate partnerships with hospitals, clinics, providers, and statewide organizations to promote health and wellness education.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

The UW System continues to increase the number of programs providing health and wellness education. Healthcare education is offered through a variety of specific fields and formats by UW System institutions.

To aid the production of more health care professionals, the UW System offers several collaborative health-related degree programs.  These include programs in Healthcare Administration, Health and Wellness ManagementHealth Information Management and Technology, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program, BSN@Home, and the consortial Audiology program.

The UW Flexible Option provides flexible, competency-based opportunities for career-focused education.  Health-related programs offered through the UW Flexible Option include Health Sciences, Diagnostic Imaging, and the Online Nursing Degree (RN to BSN).

Additionally, many UW institutions offer undergraduate and graduate programs powering careers in healthcare professions.  These programs span several fields including nutritional sciences, physical therapy, pharmaceutical sciences, and others.

Year after year, UW institutions produce more graduates in health fields.  Graduates of UW System institutions earned 3,460 degrees in health fields during 2016-17 compared to 2,992 in 2011-12.  See further details about degrees conferred in health fields.

The UW System will create and manage a streamlined website to link university expertise to community needs. The site will also serve as a one-stop shop for employers to connect with students looking for internships, out-of-the-classroom experiences, and jobs.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

Career Connect is available as a path for students looking for professional experiences to launch their careers. Employers around Wisconsin can use the site to find talented students for career opportunities and internship positions.

The Student Portal of Career Connect offers opportunities for students to connect with internships, mentorships, service opportunities, and more. Through the Employer Portal, information is provided about campus career professionals contacts, recruitment services, partnership opportunities, and more. 

The UW System will convene a series of listening and engagement sessions across the state to identify the most pressing challenges in the state. These summits will engage community, business, government, and non-profit leaders to galvanize interest, share expertise, and find solutions.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

Wisconsin Idea Summits are an established platform to engage in identifying ways the university can help address challenges facing Wisconsin. The series is one of several conduits for determining effective solutions through partnerships involving business, government, communities, and the UW System lead to real-world success.

Two recent Wisconsin Idea Summits provided opportunity for listening and engagement. Future summits are being planned.

The Wisconsin Idea Dairy Summit took place in 2017. Invited guests, panelists, and researchers came together to identify key priorities for Wisconsin's dairy industry moving forward. The summit resulted in the launch of Dairy Task Force 2.0.

In 2018, the Wisconsin Idea Smart Future Summit was held at UW-Parkside. Academic, government and industry leaders gathered with local and state leaders to examine these questions: What is a Smart City? Who benefits from a Smart City? How do we build a Smart City?

Additional Exploration:

Wisconsin Idea Dairy Summit

Wisconsin Idea Smart Future Summit

Operational Excellence

Operational Excellence iconVigorously pursue transparent, efficient, and effective operational practices.

Operational Excellence provides focus enabling the UW System to work toward achieving the outcomes-based funding goal to “enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness,” one of four goals established by the Wisconsin Legislature (Wis. Stats. §36.112).

The UW System will continue to create operational efficiencies by standardizing, consolidating, and streamlining non-instructional operations.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: limited progress

Launched in 2015 by UW System President Raymond Cross, the Commitment to Operational Reform and Excellence (CORE) is an ongoing, multilayered effort to standardize and improve UW System’s business processes, with the central goal of effectively and efficiently using resources to keep a UW System education available and affordable to students and families. For many years, the percentage of UW System’s annual budget devoted to administrative costs has been significantly below the national average, and the UW System remains committed to continuing to identify ways to lower it even further through the use of innovative business practices.

CORE, a key part of UW System’s 2020FWD Strategic Framework, is based on a set of four guiding principles:

  • Business process standardization
  • Facilitation of partnerships
  • Reallocation and reinvestment of resources
  • Transformational change

In conjunction with the UW Colleges and UW-Extension Restructuring Project, CORE is positioning the organization for future success in a rapidly changing economic landscape.

Several of the enterprise-wide initiatives incorporated under CORE have made significant progress since the effort’s initial launch in 2015. Additional initiatives are building momentum or being planned.

The Office of Capital Planning and Budget has developed and implemented programs to approve and manage UW System construction projects funded by gifts and grants, as well as to manage the purchase and leasing of real estate.

In December, the Office of Budget and Planning will launch Plan UW, a new budget creation tool that gives the enterprise the ability to budget revenue and expenditures. Future phases will provide the ability to more accurately forecast actual revenues, expenditures and fund balances, as well as provide the ability to do multi-year and strategic forecasting. 

Human Resources continues work on the UW System Title and Total Compensation Project, a system-wide effort to modernize job descriptions and pay and benefit packages, with the global aim of recruiting, retaining, and engaging top talent.  

Most recently, the decision was made to create a new, University of Wisconsin Shared Services unit to provide human resources, information technology, and procurement services to UW System campuses and their employees in a standardized, cost-effective way.

The UW System will benchmark and assess progress by leveraging its accountability dashboard, an interactive website that is available to internal and external stakeholders in an easy, one-stop platform.  The 2020FWD Strategic Framework Report Card facilitates reporting annual progress to key stakeholders.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

Through this 2020FWD  Strategic Framework Report Card, actions taken and progress made on the 2020FWD operational plan will continue to be reported on an annual basis by UW System Administration at meetings of the Board of Regents, Chancellors, and other key stakeholders.

The 2020FWD Strategic Framework Report Card reports current actions and progress on the 2020FWD operational plan. Additionally, the UW System Accountability Dashboard, updated throughout the year, contains a broad spectrum of higher educational performance measures that reflect the UW System’s strategic priorities.

The UW System will develop policies and adopt practices that reduce time to degree. In addition to managing academic courses and programs offered at institutions, the UW System will regularly review standards and practices supporting the collaborative management of electives and enrollment. The goal will always be to achieve academic effectiveness with optimal efficiency.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: progress

The UW System has established policies and applies practices promoting on-time degrees. Specifically, three primary efforts are in place. Each institution is creating four-year degree planning guides that show students how to complete a degree in four years. New program proposals document how long students will take to complete the proposed degree program, as well as identify the number of required credits. The UW System monitors the number of graduates in each degree program and provides all institutions with data to analyze trends.

Average semesters enrolled are decreasing and four-year graduation rates are increasing among recipients of UW System bachelor's degrees.

Average semesters enrolled by bachelor's degree recipients have decreased from 9.9 in 1993-94, when the metric was established, to 9.0 in 2016-17.  See the dashboard for detail by institution and academic year for average semesters enrolled by bachelor's degree recipients.

The four-year graduation rate for full-time new freshmen entering in fall 2013 is 38.1%, higher than the rate for students entering in fall 2008 (29..0%) or fall 2003 (27.3%). See detailed four- and six-year graduation rates, here.

The UW System will prioritize resources to increase compensation for its faculty and staff who are considered among the best in the world.

Process Update: well established

Progress Update: limited progress

The State of Wisconsin 2017-19 biennial budget includes 2% increases implemented in August 2018 and January 2019 resulting in a 4.04% pay plan. UW System Human Resources developed operational guidelines for implementation of the plan. Currently, UW System Human Resources is working collaboratively with the Finance team and Office of the President to develop a strategy to support the 2019/21 pay plan request.

The first increase of the pay plan was awarded in August 2018, with the second phase to be applied in January 2019. Funding of the pay plan included in the 2019-21 UW System budget request will be determined by the executive and legislative branches of the State of Wisconsin.  

The current pay plan represents progress related to this initiative: however, faculty and staff continue to trail peers in terms of compensation. See Faculty Compensation Gap with Peer Institutions.

Additional Exploration:

Title and Total Compensation Study

UW Leadership Development Program