Office of the President
Selected Milestones and Highlights - President Reilly - University of Wisconsin System
UW System President Kevin P. Reilly
Selected Milestones and Highlights
2004 - 2013
- Student enrollment across the UW System grew significantly during Reilly’s tenure, peaking at more than 182,000 in 2010-11, up from 166,181 in 2003. Today’s enrollment of 180,969 represents an 8.9% increase from 2003.
- The number of degrees conferred by UW campuses grew from
32,189 in 2004 to about 36,400 in 2012 – a 13% increase. The number of degrees
conferred each year in science, technology, engineering and math (the STEM
fields) increased, in response to workforce demands. In total, more than 330,000
UW diplomas have been issued bearing Reilly’s signature.
- Since 2004, UW institutions were awarded more than $7.5 billion
in research funds, with annual research awards growing from $743 million
in 2004 to $964 million in 2012.
- The number of transfer
students has increased from 15,098 in 2003-04 to 17,110 in 2011-12 – a
- The amount of private grant aid (excluding loans) awarded
to UW students with demonstrated need has grown by 124% under Reilly’s
leadership – from $11.5 million in 2004 to $25.8 million in 2012.
- During Reilly’s tenure, more than $3.9 billion worth of
projects were constructed on UW campuses, including $770.2 million from
- In 2004, UW System began live audio streaming coverage of Board
of Regents meetings. This was later expanded to include live video streaming
- In 2005, the Regents approved Reilly’s plan to consolidate the
Madison-based administrative offices of UW Colleges and UW-Extension under the
leadership of a single chancellor.
- In 2005, the Association of American Colleges & Universities
(AAC&U) named the UW System its first pilot partner in launching the Liberal Education and America’s Promise,
- In 2006, Reilly introduced the Growth Agenda – a vision for statewide economic
growth focused on increasing the number of college-educated citizens in the
state and boosting job creation. That vision became the over-arching framework
for UW System’s expanded accountability
reports, giving legislators and other stakeholders more detailed data about
academic and operational performance.
- In 2007, Reilly sent personal letters to Wisconsin residents who
previously attended a UW institution but never completed a degree, inviting
them to return. As of 2012, these annual invitations have resulted in 7,540 additional
- November 2007, Reilly joined other education leaders to announce
Wisconsin’s participation in the national KnowHow2Go pre-college campaign.
- As other universities embraced accountability reports and
“dashboards,” Reilly and former UW System President Katharine Lyall recalled UW
System’s leadership in
this 2008 editorial.
- In May 2007, Reilly appointed the Commission on University
Security following tragic shootings on the Virginia Tech campus. The
18-member commission, chaired by Sue Riseling, chief of police at UW-Madison,
analyzed of campus security within the UW System and presented its final report in July
- In 2006, Reilly
joined Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary in supporting
expansion of the Wisconsin G.I. Bill. The UW System continued to demonstrate
its support for
veterans, launching a new web portal in 2010,
and a mobile-enabled
version in June 2012.
- In November 2007, Reilly announced that UW System would
participate in the new Voluntary
System of Accountability (VSA), designed to improve public understanding of
how public colleges and universities perform, based on standardized data.
- In September 2008, Reilly authored the
first in a series of 10 guest columns in Trusteeship magazine, aimed
at college and university trustees. The columns discussed student veterans, civility, cost
containment in higher education, and other topics.
- In September 2009, Reilly joined Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle on a trade mission to China.
- In October 2009, Reilly’s Inside Higher Ed guest column presented
of promise” for American higher education.
- In 2009, Reilly announced the formation of a new UW System Task
Force on Internationalization and Economic Development. The group examined how
expertise throughout the UW System can be tapped to help attract international
investment and promote growth in international markets.
- According to a 2010 survey, young
alumni think highly of their University of Wisconsin System alma maters, and
most believe that college has prepared them with the knowledge and skills they
need. About 92% of UW graduates surveyed agreed that their alma mater charged
a “fair price” for their education. About 94% agreed that college was worth
all the time and money required. More than eight out of ten (81%) UW graduates
said they would attend the same school if they could begin again, and 85%
reported that they were “effectively prepared with the knowledge and skills
- In November 2010, Reilly and other leaders
unveiled the UW System eCampus, offering one convenient gateway to more
than 70 online UW degree and certificate programs offered across the UW
System’s accredited campuses.
- In a January 2011 editorial,
Reilly asserted that UW System's research capabilities can contribute to statewide
- Reilly advocated that all UW institutions needed greater
operational flexibility within a unified UW System.
- In February 2011, Reilly
asked Gov. Walker to advocate for expanded flexibilities for all UW
- In March 2011, Reilly
asked the Joint Committee on Finance to support the Wisconsin Idea
- In May 2011, Reilly joined the UW Chancellors and UW Colleges
deans in sending an open
letter to all legislators about the Wisconsin Idea Partnership.
- In June 2011, Reilly and Regent leaders reacted to budget action
by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, which preserved a unified
- In February 2011, Reilly asked Gov. Walker to advocate for expanded flexibilities for all UW campuses.
- As part of an ongoing effort to focus on STEM degrees, UW System
announced a new
five-campus water technology initiative in June 2011, in partnership with
the Business-Higher Education Forum, an organization of Fortune 500 CEOs and
university presidents, including Reilly.
- In June 2012, Reilly
joined Gov. Scott Walker and Chancellor Ray Cross to announce a new effort
to create self-paced, competency-based UW degree programs.
- UW leaders announced the first “UW Flexible
Option” degrees to be offered by UW-Milwaukee and UW Colleges in November
- Coverage of this news by the Wall
Street Journalwas shared more than 8,000 times on Facebook and
- In July 2013, UW System announced that two institutions planning
to offer degrees via the UW Flexible Option received permission to
move forward from their accrediting authority, the Higher Learning
- UW leaders announced the first “UW Flexible Option” degrees to be offered by UW-Milwaukee and UW Colleges in November 2012.
- In June 2012, Reilly announces new economic development
collaboration with the Wisconsin
Economic Development Corp. (WEDC… Johnson
Controls partnership with UWM June 2011
- Building upon the Growth Agenda platform, UW System launched the Knowledge Powers Wisconsin brand platform
in November 2012.
- Reilly has worked with many national higher education associations on pressing national issues. He is currently President of the National Association of System Heads (NASH) and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education (ACE).