University of Wisconsin–Madison

The Wisconsin Idea Seminar is a five-day traveling study tour that immerses forty UW–Madison faculty, academic staff, and administrators in the educational, industrial, social, and political realities of Wisconsin. Begun in 1985, the seminar introduces and promotes the Wisconsin Idea and our commitment to use university expertise and resources to address the problems of the state.

The 2017 seminar route is currently being planned. The 2016 route included stops at a Wisconsin business, dairy farm, Native American reservation, UW System campus, tourism destination, state correctional institution, and a Milwaukee high school. Experts from UW-Madison will join us for bus lectures throughout the week.

Kirby Metoxen, the Oneida Nation’s Special Events Tourism Coordinator, led the Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants on a tour of Salt Pork Avenue, a cultural heritage site that features period homes representing various points in the Oneida Nation’s history in Wisconsin. Here Mr. Metoxen stands in the Tilly and Chancey Baird House, the former home of his grandparents (a life-size photo of his grandmother is just visible beyond his right elbow). Mr. Metoxen, who grew up in Milwaukee, shared personal stories and memories of visiting the house in the 1960s and 1970s when his family made summer trips to the reservation. (Photo by Catherine Reiland/UW-Madison)

Who May Apply

  • New faculty members
  • Recently tenured faculty members
  • New deans and department chairs
  • Lead academic staff with statewide responsibilities

Selection Process

Deans of schools, colleges, and divisions recommend candidates for selection to the Provost’s Office. By mid-April, approximately 40 people from a cross-section of schools and colleges and disciplines will be selected to participate.

To Apply or Nominate

  1. Submit a Pre-Nomination web form.
  2. Circulate Nomination form for signatures.
  3. Your Dean’s office will forward the nomination to the Provost’s Office.
  4. Nominations due February 15, 2017.
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"I shall never be content until the beneficent influence of the University reaches every family in the state."

UW President Charles Van Hise in 1904