MADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System must reach out for more input from the state’s business community to ensure that the university’s graduates are meeting employers’ needs, President Ray Cross told C-SPAN viewers today.

“One of my initiatives is to more tightly connect the university to what the corporations in the state need,” Cross said, noting that there are currently an estimated 150,000 to 170,000 vacant positions in the state. “It’s important for the university to help develop high-impact talent to address some of those needs.”

Cross added that the value of a university education should not be measured only by its economic value. “It’s important to understand what it means to have an educated citizenry. That’s a fundamental piece of what a higher education experience is all about,” Cross said.

Cross appeared today on “Washington Journal,” the network’s daily public affairs program. His live interview was part of the C-SPAN’s 2014 Big Ten Bus Tour, a month-long series of conversations with university officials from most Big Ten campuses. Broadcasting from the C-SPAN bus parked in front of the Red Gym on the UW-Madison campus, discussion topics included college costs and student debt, university admission policies, academic research activity, and how universities are preparing graduates for careers and adult life.

Created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a public service, C-SPAN is available in 97 million households. It receives no government financial support and is funded by cable and satellite affiliates that carry its public affairs programming.

Media Contact

Heather LaRoi UW System 608-265-3195