MADISON — Dr. John D. Wiley, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was today named chancellor of the university, effective January 1, 2001.

Wiley will become UW-Madison’s 27th leader, succeeding David Ward, who announced in March that he would step down as chancellor at the end of 2000 after nearly eight years in that position.

The announcement was made by UW System President Katharine Lyall following an executive session of the UW System Board of Regents. The full board acted unanimously on the recommendation of a Special Regents Committee and Lyall, who interviewed Wiley and two other finalists November 2-3 in Madison.

“I am delighted that John has agreed to lead UW-Madison,” said Lyall. “He brings to the position superb administrative skills, an outstanding scholarly background, and an unquestioned devotion to the institution.

“I think John will be especially effective, given his experience as a UW-Madison student, faculty member, dean and senior administrator. He has literally seen the institution from every vantagepoint. I am also confident that he will provide leadership in our ongoing efforts to increase collaboration among all UW System institutions.”

Wiley, who has been provost at UW-Madison since 1994, said he was “gratified by the decision, and honored to be given this opportunity.”

“UW-Madison is experiencing significant momentum,” said Wiley. “We will remain true to the mission of this great state university – to create, integrate, transfer and apply knowledge. As we build on our foundation of strategic planning, refinements to our mission will ensure that we maintain our place as one of the premier institutions of higher education in the world.”

Regent President Jay Smith chaired the Special Regent Committee for the UW-Madison Chancellor Search. Other members were Regents JoAnne Brandes, Guy Gottschalk, Frederic E. Mohs, and Jose Olivieri.

“John is the right leader for UW-Madison at this time,” said Smith. “He is committed to the students and he is respected by the faculty and staff. He was also intimately involved in the design and implementation the Madison Initiative, a creative plan for sustaining UW-Madison’s stature among its peer universities.”

Smith added that the Regents appreciated Wiley’s invaluable experience in the area of private fundraising, as well as his commitment to enhancing UW-Madison’s pivotal role in the economic development of Wisconsin. Lyall stated that all three finalists were excellent, and that Wiley had “tough competition” for the job.

Wiley, 58, grew up in Evansville, Indiana. He received a B.S. degree in physics at Indiana University in 1964, then received M.S. (1965) and Ph.D. (1968) degrees at UW-Madison as a National Science Foundation fellow (1964-66). After graduation, he joined the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he worked until 1974.

Wiley received the Alexander von Humboldt Senior U.S. Service Award for Research and Training, and spent a year at the Max Planck Institute in Germany before joining the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UW-Madison in 1975. As a member of the faculty, his research and teaching focused on a variety of topics related to semiconductors and the electronics field. He co-founded several successful research centers, including the Center for X-Ray Lithography, the Materials Science Industrial Consortium, and the Center for Thin-Film Deposition and Application.

From 1982 to 1986, Wiley chaired the graduate-level, interdepartmental Materials Science Program. From 1986 to 1989, he served as associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. From 1989 to 1994, he was dean of the Graduate School, a position that combines the responsibilities of a dean of graduate studies and a vice chancellor for research.

In 1994, Wiley was named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. He functioned as chief operating officer and deputy chancellor, working closely with deans, faculty, academic staff and student committees in the overall management of the university.

Locally, Wiley is a director of the Evjue Foundation and Venture Investors of Wisconsin. He is also a member of the National Advisory Committee to the Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel of the National Research Council.

Wiley is married to Georgia Blanchfield and has a 17-year-old stepson, Kai Kennedy, and a 14-year-old stepdaughter, Blythe Kennedy.

According to Lyall, Wiley’s state-funded salary was set at $193,000, the maximum allowed under current state law. In addition, he will receive $96,000 annually from the University of Wisconsin Foundation under a special consulting arrangement agreed to earlier by the Foundation’s board of directors. Combined, the $289,000 compensation is slightly above the median ($275,000) among 11 peer institutions.

UW-Madison was founded in 1848. It is the largest of the 15 institutions in the statewide UW System, with an annual operating budget of $1.4 billion and an enrollment of more than 40,000 students. UW-Madison is one of the leading land-grant universities in the country, ranking third among public universities in funding for research and development and first in annual gifts and trust fund revenues. UW-Madison was a founding member of the Association of American Universities (AAU) and its athletic teams compete in the Big Ten Conference.


Kevin Boatright, UW System
(608) 263-2227