MADISON- The ‘access missions’ of the University of Wisconsin System’s statewide outreach service and 13 freshman-sophomore campuses would be strengthened under restructured leadership proposed Tuesday by UW System President Kevin P. Reilly.
Following a comprehensive, independent study of the missions and administrations of the UW Colleges and UW-Extension, Reilly is recommending that the leadership of these two statewide institutions be consolidated under a single Chancellor. The report suggests that this change and other collaborative efficiencies could save as much as $1.5 million annually.
“Our statewide UW-Extension and the 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges are key public gateways for Wisconsin citizens to access UW System education and services,” Reilly said. “Efficiency, while preserving quality, is among our top priorities. This change will help us more effectively direct our limited resources, while reinforcing the shared visions of these institutions.”
The UW Colleges and UW-Extension are now each led by their own Chancellor, positions currently being filled by interim leaders. Reilly plans to present more details, and ask the Board of Regents in February to authorize a search for a Chancellor to lead both institutions.
“Families, farmers and citizens across this state reap countless benefits from the services UW-Extension provides, and this proposal could help both institutions forge stronger ties with all 72 Wisconsin counties,” said UW-Extension Interim Chancellor Marv Van Kekerix.
“UW Colleges campuses are Wisconsin’s premier access institutions,” added UW Colleges Interim Chancellor Margaret Cleek. “Our faculty and staff are open to change that improves how we serve returning adult students and any student looking for the best start in life.”
Consolidating services and administration within the UW System is often a subject of discourse among Wisconsin citizens and the state’s elected officials, Reilly said.
“We have been studying efficiency measures since I took office in September, and this recommendation is among many changes under careful consideration that can help this university improve its service to Wisconsin,” Reilly said. “I anticipate continued access, success, and vitality as these institutions evolve.”