MADISON, Wis.— University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson issued this statement today:

“The University of Wisconsin System offers a world-class education across our 13 universities, and our students, faculty and staff operate in an environment characterized by respect, civility, and an appreciation for our differences.

The past year has been challenging in many ways. While we have done a phenomenal job of keeping our universities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are issues that cannot be remedied with testing, and to which there is no vaccine. The University of Wisconsin is home to individuals from myriad backgrounds, and we must strive to provide an environment of support for everyone.

This is a time, and opportunity, in our history where we must take substantial steps to ensure that the UW System is characterized by true equity, inclusion, and the appreciation for every aspect of diversity. I know that we have the commitment, dedication, and determination to do just that.

I encourage all of our employees to build an environment where everyone can thrive. I will work with the Chancellors to keep equity, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of our work.

It is a great honor to lead this amazing system, which next to our people is Wisconsin’s greatest asset. As we push to become our best, we MUST value everyone across our universities and the communities we are within and represent.”

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419