Wiley talks about top priorities

February 7, 2001

In remarks this week, Chancellor John Wiley outlines three top priorities: campus climate, budget issues and strategic planning.

The new chancellor asked the Faculty Senate Feb. 5 to help improve the climate at the university for minority students and minority and female faculty and staff. He says there is “unambiguously some issue of campus climate to deal with here.”

He likens the issue to that of high-risk drinking: “There is no magic bullet to solve it.”

“It bears thinking about — and I’m soliciting your ideas to make the campus a more comfortable place to work and study,” Wiley says.

In relation to budget issues, the chancellor says he was hopeful the second phase of the Madison Initiative would be as successful as the first.

In the 1999-2001 state budget, lawmakers approved $29 million for the first half of the Madison Initiative, a broad-ranging university plan to strengthen student learning opportunities and improve Wisconsin’s economy.

Through the UW System budget request, UW–Madison is seeking the remaining $28 million in public funding in the 2001-03 state budget. That funding would be matched by $20 million in private giving, as was the first half of the Madison Initiative.

Wiley says he has met with top legislative leaders, former Gov. Tommy Thompson and new Gov. Scott McCallum to discuss the Madison Initiative.

“Everyone, without exception, is supportive of the Madison Initiative and agreed that it is a high priority,” Wiley explains. “The only concern is that budget projections have gone south recently.”

Wiley expresses hope that state revenue projections would improve by summer.

In terms of strategic planning, the chancellor says he will form a task force comprised of faculty, staff and student leaders, along with the university’s deans. The task force will work at turning “Targeting Tomorrow,” the university document that outlines future directions for the 21st century, into a “real plan of action,” Wiley says.

Key priorities identified in “Targeting Tomorrow” include the continual advancement of learning, maintaining research excellence, nurturing of human resources, amplifying the Wisconsin Idea and accelerating globalization.