Chancellor Biddy Martin and the UW’s Public Authority Restructuring Strategy

UW’s Chancellor Biddy Martin spoke this morning at a Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce event and explained her rationale for pursuing a change in status to a public authority.  She did a great job of laying out the benefits and encouraged debate based on the merits of the strategy vs. the politics surrounding it. Here are some of the benefits mentioned today.

  • It gives them the flexibility they need to pursue a competitive strategy that will keep them in the top 20 of universities in the world.
  • It increases the UW leadership’s accountability for the top line, the bottom line and every line in between by moving them off the State’s “books” giving them increased responsibilities for managing revenues and making them less vulnerable to State cost reduction sweeps.
  • It enables them to redesign their personnel policies to pay for performance and to attract and retain the world’s top research talent.

Chancellor Martin is seeking changes to improve her ability to compete in a global marketplace.  The changes make a lot of sense.  In an academic ranking of world universities, UW-Madison ranks 17th but if they want to stay there, they’ll need the flexibility public authority status gives them. Kudos to Chancellor Martin for championing just what UW needs to remain in the upper echelons of world universities.