Office of the President


Photo of Kevin P. Reilly

Dr. Kevin P. Reilly began his tenure as the sixth president of the University of Wisconsin System on September 1, 2004. His vision for the state’s public university system is that it should be Wisconsin’s premier developer of advanced human potential, of the jobs that employ that potential, and of the flourishing communities that sustain it.

The UW System’s two doctoral universities, 11 comprehensive universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges, and statewide UW-Extension annually serve more than 181,000 students, and reach more than one million Wisconsin citizens through outreach, public broadcasting, and continuing education programs.  President Reilly leads a UW System workforce of some 40,000 faculty, academic and classified staff, and graduate assistants. He is also responsible for the UW System’s $5.9 billion annual budget, made up of state support, federal funding, tuition and fees, and private gifts.

In collaboration with the campus Chancellors in the System, he developed the “Growth Agenda for Wisconsin,” a long-term vision and strategic plan for what the university needs to do to help Wisconsin and the nation be more competitive in the global knowledge economy.  Under his leadership, enrollment has grown to an all-time high, and sponsored research has continued to expand.  At the same time, the UW System was ranked by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems among the five “most productive state systems and public sectors of higher education relative to their resources.”

Dr. Reilly served as Chancellor of UW-Extension from July 2000 through August 2004.  He was Provost and Vice Chancellor of Extension from 1996 to 2000. A native of New York City, Reilly came to Wisconsin from the State University of New York System, where he was Associate Provost for Academic Programs and then Secretary of the University.

He has served as Chair of the American Council on Education's Commission on Adult Learning and Educational Credentials and as a member of the Board of Directors for the University Continuing Education Association and Vice Chair of its Commission on Leadership and Management.  He was also a member of the Steering Committee of the four statewide Wisconsin Economic Summits.

He is currently a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues for the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Steering Committee for the Celtic Studies Program at UW-Madison. He serves as President of the National Association of System Heads and is Secretary of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education. In 2009, he received the Signature of Excellence Award from the University Continuing Education Association for exemplary service to continuing higher education. Also in 2009, he was named one of the top 100 Irish-American educators by Irish Voice weekly. He has authored and edited books and articles on higher education policy, accreditation, biography and autobiography, and Irish studies. He has co-taught the James Joyce course at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Dr. Reilly earned his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D at the University of Minnesota. He and his wife, Kate, reside at Brittingham House in Madison, Wisconsin. They are the parents of three children.

June 2013