How does your work benefit Wisconsin? Spread the word via the Wisconsin Idea database.

During the past year we have built an incredible online database that shows how your work and that of your colleagues provides great benefits to the state and helps to increase valuable partnerships in the tradition of the Wisconsin Idea. The Wisconsin Idea in Action database documents some 900 examples of how your teaching, research, clinical and public service activities benefit the people of Wisconsin in an easy-to-use and searchable format.

We are making extensive use of the database to highlight our service to the state and more strategically foster public engagement activities:
• It is the backbone for creating customized reports for every state \legislator on what UW-Madison is doing to help residents in their districts;
• It is used to develop news and feature stories distributed statewide, published in Wisconsin Week and posted at;
• The data is cited in the UW-Madison Reaccreditation Self Study, the Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement classification, and in UW-Madison’s annual accountability report to UW System and the Board of Regents.
• After analyzing our K-12 science outreach efforts in the inventory, we funded a major campus initiative to increase our capacity to provide science outreach to K-12 students, and STEM professional development programs to practicing teachers;
• Thrive, the eight county Madison-area economic development organization used the database for its inventory of assets and opportunities for regional businesses, and
• Administrators, faculty and staff draw from the database for illustrations of how we provide value to specific parts of the state before being interviewed or providing programs and presentations throughout the state.

Useful as it is, we know the database does not fully reflect the extent of UW-Madison’s commitment to the Wisconsin Idea and we may be missing some of the good work that you are doing. That is why I ask you to help us further enrich this unique resource. To add a listing to the database, simply go to our online form and submit a brief description of your Wisconsin Idea program or activity.

Thank you for your help with this important initiative. If you have any questions, contact Peyton Smith or Bill Graf. Please know that we will continue to use the information you provide to more effectively tell our story and to increase and strengthen mutually beneficial partnerships around the state.

Julie Underwood
Interim Provost