a shoreline view of campus, showing union hall, the terrace, and the red gym on a bright sunny day

The Prospectus


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The University of Wisconsin System invites applications and nominations for the position of Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Download the Prospectus (PDF) Learn how to apply

The Opportunity


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Aerial photo of campus along the Lake Mendota shoreline

The University of Wisconsin–Madison, the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System, is recognized internationally for its rigorous academics, ground-breaking research, and steadfast commitment to public service. Since its founding as a land-grant university in 1848, UW–Madison has been at the forefront of education, innovation, and discovery.

UW–Madison is looking for an experienced and forward-thinking leader to:

Advance the University’s Tradition of World-Class Teaching and Research

UW–Madison is a leader in higher education and research in Wisconsin, the nation, and the world. The university provides a learning environment in which faculty, staff, and students discover, examine critically, preserve, and transmit the knowledge, wisdom, and values that will help ensure the survival of this and future generations and improve the quality of life for all. The university helps students to develop an understanding and appreciation for the complex cultural and physical worlds in which they live, to prepare for future careers, and to expand their understanding of themselves and their capabilities. The Chancellor must create a campus environment in which students, staff, and faculty can learn and grow.

The Chancellor provides leadership to the university as a vehicle for research and discovery, supporting the fearless sifting and winnowing of our world-class research enterprise and the dissemination of knowledge in its many forms. The Chancellor must understand how the higher education environment is evolving and is responsible for setting an entrepreneurial vision for the university that will enhance UW–Madison’s research enterprise, expand its global impact, and support the scholarship of faculty, staff, and students. The Chancellor is also tasked with ensuring the continued vitality, competitiveness, and strength of our graduate and professional programs.

UW–Madison provides access to a world-class, affordable educational experience with a priority on Wisconsin high school graduates. The Chancellor should also have a vision of how to leverage new modes of delivery to engage with learners throughout their lives.

Envision and Communicate a Plan for Maintaining UW–Madison’s Outreach Mission to Improve Lives in Wisconsin and Beyond

One of the most cherished commitments at UW–Madison is its belief in the Wisconsin Idea, developed over more than a century. The Wisconsin Idea signifies a general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. This university serves the state in multiple ways, and the Chancellor is a state and national champion of the Wisconsin Idea and its ramifications beyond the walls of the university.

The university is one of the main economic drivers to the state’s economy, serving as an invaluable resource to all Wisconsin citizens. The outreach mission led by the Chancellor positions the university to share the benefits of a world-class teaching and research university throughout Wisconsin and beyond the borders of the state.

The university is strongly affiliated with its academic health system: UW Health, a $3.8 billion integrated health system whose university hospital, community hospitals, health plan, and clinics serve the state of Wisconsin as well as neighboring populations. The Chancellor serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of UW Hospital and Clinics.

As the leader of the state’s flagship university, the Chancellor partners with the community and the state to extend and apply UW–Madison’s research, education, and practice-based knowledge to foster learning and support innovation and prosperity throughout Wisconsin. The Chancellor partners with state and local government, business, and community leaders in this pursuit. The Chancellor engages with the community to provide positive social, cultural, and economic impact, and promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development in Wisconsin and the world.

Drive and Advance the Goals of Greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion on the UW–Madison Campus

UW–Madison strives for an organizational culture and climate that fosters engagement, inclusion, diversity, and equity and promotes wellness among students and employees. The university has a set of programs and goals designed to enhance diversity among our students, faculty, and staff and build upon our strong commitment to diversity to create a welcoming, empowered, and inclusive community.

The successful candidate will have a passion for these values and experience in fostering diversity and inclusion. The candidate should also understand how the Wisconsin Idea further lends to the diversity of ideas and the innovative spirit of UW–Madison. The candidate should be culturally conscious to the diversity and differing perspectives of the university’s student body, culturally conscious to rural and urban social needs and views, and respect and have a commitment to work with individuals with differing views to establish a university that is open and safe for learners of all backgrounds. This means a commitment to a holistic experience for learners that combines learning in and out of the classroom that is steeped in the values of the university.

Acumen to Expand and Strengthen a High-Performing Organization

UW–Madison endeavors to continuously improve in its operations and the services it provides to students, faculty, and staff. This includes strengthening our historically strong financial performance by growing revenues and controlling costs. It also means providing high-quality administrative services and developing new and innovative ways to invest in our strategic priorities, while maintaining a commitment to the highest ethical standards. As a campus, UW–Madison is committed to practicing sustainability principles in the stewardship of campus resources by recognizing our environmental responsibility to people and the planet.

The next Chancellor must build upon and support our high-quality and committed faculty and staff in ways that advance the mission and reflect the university’s values. A successful candidate must be fully commited to and supportive of shared governance.

Engage and Communicate the Value of the University to External Stakeholders

The Chancellor is the primary spokesperson for UW–Madison and must constantly speak to the value of the university to multiple stakeholders.

This means working closely with elected political leaders at the federal, state, and local levels. The Chancellor must advocate for policies that strengthen the university and explain and defend the university to those who criticize it.

The university’s 467,227 living alumni serve as another key stakeholder group. The Chancellor meets with alumni groups across the state and around the country, as well as in other countries. Fundraising among alumni and friends is an increasingly important source of revenue for the university and the Chancellor plays a leadership role in this activity, particularly among the university’s most generous friends and supporters.

Statutory Responsibilities


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Different-colored flags with the UW crest

As executive head of the institution, the Chancellor is vested with the responsibility of administering Board of Regents policies under the coordinating direction of the President of the University of Wisconsin System, and is accountable and reports to the President and the Board on the operation of the institution. Subject to Board policy, the Chancellor, in consultation with the Chancellor’s leadership team and the faculty, is responsible for designing curricula and setting degree requirements; determining academic standards and establishing grading systems; defining and administering institutional standards for faculty peer evaluation and screening candidates for appointment, promotion, and tenure; recommending individual merit increases; administering associated auxiliary services; administering all funds, from whatever source, allocated, generated, or intended for use by the institution; and presiding over UW–Madison’s separate statutory authority to administer campus human resources programs for faculty and staff.

Desired Qualifications


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UW–Madison seeks a Chancellor with the capacity to lead a complex and innovative land-grant university within a large and dynamic public higher education system. Candidates will be evaluated on the following professional and personal characteristics:

  • Commitment to scholarly values, academic excellence, academic freedom, and tenure, and an understanding of the diverse missions of a major public research university, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional instruction, continuing studies, research, public service, entrepreneurship, technology transfer, outreach, and amplifying UW–Madison’s global impact.
  • Experience leading an organization through institutional transformation in an evolving higher education environment. This includes nurturing change where needed in instructional and work modalities and in student education and student services. Of great importance is recruiting/retaining diverse top talent in all facets of university employment, and repurposing resources where needed to assure both efficient and effective administrative services.
  • Academic or equivalent professional accomplishments, including:
    • Academic scholarship and teaching and/or research credentials and accomplishments, or equivalent professional credentials and accomplishments, which will command the respect of the academic community;
    • A successful record of leadership, including experience in higher education or equivalent professional administration.
  • Fulfilling UW–Madison’s mission over the long term can only be accomplished if revenues are increased and expenditures are made strategically. The Chancellor must foster deeper relations with industry and government agencies, continue to manage resources wisely, and maintain sound budgetary controls and principled resource allocation. The Chancellor should exhibit:
    • Financial acumen to strengthen the university’s finances and ensure that it operates sustainably and proactively to address potential sources of financial stress;
    • An ability to communicate effectively and build transparency with respect to budgeting processes, principles, and decisions;
    • An ability to manage and strengthen resource allocation within UW–Madison.
  • The Chancellor must have demonstrated a commitment for securing research grants and funding through:
    • Federal, state, industry, and other grants and contracts;
    • State budget initiatives;
    • Innovative revenue-generating initiatives that utilize the entrepreneurial spirit of the university to put resources to the highest and best use and diversify institutional revenue;
    • Work with alumni, business leaders, foundations, and other constituencies to support fundraising;
    • Ongoing reinvestment of revenues derived from research patents, licenses, and entrepreneurial ventures.
  • Outstanding leadership qualities, including:
    • Personal integrity, intellectual curiosity, compassion, resilience, and energy;
    • A personal commitment to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion;
    • A passion for the student experience demonstrated by continual direct student engagement;
    • A collaborative leadership style that emphasizes openness, fairness, and excellence;
    • A commitment to Wisconsin’s strong tradition of shared governance, which includes active participation in policymaking by faculty, staff, students, and alumni;
    • Desire and ability to advance the university’s mission in undergraduate and graduate programs; to provide leadership and support to the faculty in teaching, scholarship, and public service; to link the curriculum to the needs of the people of Wisconsin and beyond; and to grow the research enterprise;
    • Ability to provide leadership to faculty, staff, administrators, students, and other constituents in implementing the current and future strategic frameworks;
    • Demonstrated leadership in national higher educational or similar organizations;
    • Data-driven decision-making with administrative and business acumen to understand the present and future of higher education.
  • Talent and energy to build broad support for the institution at local, state, national, and international levels, including:
    • The ability to represent the institution and work effectively with its many constituencies who may have differing visions for the institution, including: the Board of Regents; the University of Wisconsin System President and administration; federal, state, and local elected officials and other governmental bodies; community and business leaders; other educational institutions at the secondary and post-secondary levels in Wisconsin and nationally; alumni and parents of students; the Native Nations of Wisconsin; news media; campus affiliates; alumni networks; communities across the state; as well as the public at large;
    • Building business relationships in order to advance the mission of University Research Park, of which the Chancellor serves as President of the Board of Trustees;
    • A commitment to seeing the university as an active and engaged member of the Madison and Dane County community, working for the betterment of its residents;
    • The ability to work collegially with the other UW System chancellors.
  • A commitment to continually improve the university experience for students, faculty, and staff, including:
    • Leadership and passion for enhancing diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts that impact the campus community, including expanding diversity among students, faculty, and staff and broadly supporting their success, including the promotion of such faculty and staff; as well as a demonstrated commitment to equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, and non-discriminatory practices;
    • Commitment to outreach and recruitment of learners of both the urban and rural sectors of Wisconsin and commitment to produce new outreach efforts to promote the inclusion of more students of diverse social, economic, geographical, and cultural backgrounds;
    • Enhancing the quality of student life, growing the Wisconsin Experience, and strengthening the delivery of services to students;
    • Enhancing educational opportunities through appropriate use of new technologies;
    • A vision for supporting the university’s workforce, through competitive, market-based compensation, process improvement, and nurturing the evolution of work modalities and leveraging these strategies to recruit and retain diverse top talent in all facets of university employment.
  • A commitment to the Wisconsin Idea and the university’s responsibility of public service through dissemination of the results of scholarly and scientific inquiry and creative expression, including:
    • Support of the public-service mission that benefits the state, nation, and world;
    • Demonstrated commitment to enhancing environmental sustainability;
    • Commitment to academic freedom, including the tenure process;
    • Ability and interest in promoting the state of Wisconsin’s economic development, through educational programs, entrepreneurship, knowledge, and technology transfer;
    • Support of the Wisconsin Idea through engaged scholarship;
    • Understanding of, and interest in, implementing appropriate use of new technologies to improve online education, continuing education, and outreach.