University of Wisconsin–Madison
Image of Trempealeau Mountain.

River Tour: May 13–17, 2019

Wisconsin’s rivers are dynamic products of the forces of nature. People have been living along Wisconsin’s rivers for about 12,000 years, during which time rivers have been both dividers and conduits. They have formed barriers and borders while also aiding in the dissemination of peoples, languages, customs, and goods.

Along our 2019 route we will see the land and people shaped by Wisconsin’s rivers. Wisconsin Idea Seminar travelers—faculty and academic staff from the University of Wisconsin-Madison—will be students of Wisconsin life, deepening their understanding of the state and reaffirming their commitment to public service and the Wisconsin Idea.

In May, 2019, Wisconsin Idea Seminar participants will visit a dairy farm, meet environmental stewards and business owners, spark ideas with UW System colleagues, and see the spaces and places where many of our UW students come from. Experts from across the state will join the journey at various points along the way to enrich the learning throughout the week.

The nomination process

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)

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.

Take a look back at the 2017 River Tour >>

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, 2019.
More >>

"Good learning stirs you up."

Kathy Cramer, Professor of Political Science, reflection on her 2001 Wisconsin Idea Seminar experience