Office of the President

Vita for Kevin P. Reilly - University of Wisconsin System

1220 Linden Drive, Room 1720 6021 South Highlands Avenue
Madison, Wisconsin  53706 Madison, Wisconsin 53705
Telephone:  (608) 262-2321 Telephone: 608-262-0690
Fax:  (608) 262-3985  


Ph.D. English, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1979.

M.A. English, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1974.

B.A. English, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana, 1971.

Ph.D. Dissertation:  "Irish Literary Autobiography."

President, University of Wisconsin System, 2004-Present.

The UW System consists of fifteen public institutions of higher education:  two doctoral universities, eleven comprehensive universities, a system of UW Colleges with thirteen freshman-sophomore campuses, and a statewide University Extension.  The UW System serves more than 181,000 students and reaches over one million viewers and listeners through its public broadcasting stations.  The UW System workforce of 40,000 includes 11,500 faculty, 21,500 administrative staff, and 7,000 graduate assistants and employees-in-training.  The annual operating budget of the UW System is $5.6 billion.

The President of the University of Wisconsin System has full executive responsibility for the operation and management of the System and carries out the duties prescribed in Wisconsin statutes for the office and other duties as assigned by the Board of Regents.

The System President is responsible for appropriate staffing of the UW System Administration, employing approximately 200 executives, officers, and employees to assist the System President and the Board of Regent in establishing systemwide policies; monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating Board policies; coordinating program development and operation among UW institutions; planning the programmatic, financial, and physical development of the UW System; maintaining fiscal control; and compiling and recommending educational programs, operating budgets and building programs for the Board.  The System President is responsible for strategic planning and coordination of academic and student services, learning and information technology, legal services, university and government relations, business and finance, institutional research and policy analysis, human resources, and physical planning and development.  The System President is the President of all the faculties of the institutions.  The Chancellors of the UW System institutions serve under the coordinating direction of the System President and are accountable to the System President and the Board of Regents in the administration of their institutions.  UW System institutions operate with a strong and proud history of shared governance with faculty, academic staff, and students.

Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Extension, 2000-2004.

The University of Wisconsin-Extension is charged with advancing "The Wisconsin Idea" -- providing university resources to residents where they live and work -- through its four main divisions:  Outreach and E-Learning Extension, Cooperative Extension, Business and Manufacturing, and Broadcasting and Media Innovations. UW-Extension has annual expenditures of $185 million, 1,660 FTE employees, and 1.5 million students/clients per year.

The Chancellor is responsible for advancing UW-Extension's outreach mission; providing leadership to the faculty in teaching, scholarship, and public service; and extending UW's educational programs beyond the campus boundaries. The Chancellor builds support for the institution at local, state, and national levels; engages in fund raising; supports shared governance with faculty and staff; works collaboratively and shares decision making with other UW Chancellors and programs using integrated campus faculty and resources; advocates for utilizing multiple applications of technology to achieve the outreach goals of the UW System; and represents UW-Extension to its many external constituencies, including UW System Administration, the Board of Regents, community and business stakeholders, broadcast partners, other educational institutions, county governments, and the legislative and executive branches of the state and federal governments.

Provost and Vice Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Extension, 1996-2000.

The Provost and Vice Chancellor is responsible for leadership in strategic planning, annual budget planning, and academic affairs; relationships with the other UW institutions through their Vice Chancellors, and relationships with the UW System Office of Academic Affairs; development of collaborative programs with external organizations in Wisconsin and beyond; policy development in areas such as program revenue, expenditure authority, position allocation, accountability measures, and credit outreach; administration and implementation of the interinstitutional agreements between UW-Extension and the other UW institutions; internal management of administrative support units such as Human Resources, Administration and Finance, Information Systems, Conference Centers, Purchasing, and Payroll; liaison with faculty and staff governance groups; systemwide advocacy for policies that support the development and use of new and innovative educational technology; and relations with selected federal, state, and community agencies.

Interim Secretary of the University, State University of New York System, 1995-96.

The Secretary of the State University of New York serves as the chief information broker between the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees, between the Board and the campuses, and among Board members.  The position requires personal integrity, balance, discretion, and political judgment.  The Secretary is responsible for the planning and execution of the monthly meetings of the Board of Trustees and intermittent meetings of the Board's Standing and Ad Hoc Committees; for coordination of all work of the Board in cooperation with the Chancellor and other System Administration staff members; for participation in development of recommended Board policies; for planning public hearings and special events of the Board; and for arranging Trustee participation in constituent and campus events.  The Secretary also serves on the Chancellor's Policy Group and Executive Council, consisting of the Vice Chancellors and other officers of the University who deliberate University policies and form recommendations to the Trustees.  Other duties as assigned by the Chancellor include service as a member of System Administration staff committees and as the University's liaison to the Governor's Appointments Office relative to membership of local college councils and boards of trustees.

Associate Provost for Academic Programs, State University of New York System, 1992-95.

The Associate Provost for Academic Programs oversees the Office of Academic Programs and Research for the State University of New York System.  SUNY is the largest comprehensive public university system in the nation.  The Office of Academic Programs and Research reviews and approves proposals from the 64 SUNY campuses for all new and revised degree programs, from the associate through the doctoral levels. It also serves as the locus for the System's academic planning and policy formation.  Specific areas of responsibility and involvement include:  liaison with the Academic Planning Committee of the SUNY Board of Trustees and the SUNY Association of Chief Academic Officers; transfer and articulation; degree contents and requirements; systemwide coordination of new degree development and implementation; educational technology and distance learning; the University's role in workforce preparation; learning productivity; outcomes assessment and performance indicators; and branch campuses and extension centers.

Director, Division of College and University Evaluation, New York State Board of Regents, 1984-92.

The Division accredits degree programs at the 250 public and private colleges in New York.  The Division also conducts the academic review of institutions seeking initial degree powers.  This accreditation activity guides disbursement of half a billion dollars yearly in state aid to colleges and students.  The Director helps develop academic policies and standards for the State Board of Regents, a nationally recognized postsecondary accrediting agency; directs site reviews of program quality at 50 institutions each year; consults with colleges about developing new degree programs; advises colleges on the interpretation and enforcement of quality standards; supervises the writing of evaluation reports on campus site reviews, new degree program proposals, master plan amendments, and charter actions; coordinates relations on accreditation matters with the Middle States Association Commission on Higher Education and the United States Department of Education; directs the preparation of responses to the New York State Comptroller's audits of state student financial aid use by colleges; oversees the Division's budget; and supervises the work of 25 staff and hundreds of faculty consultants.

Director, Teaching and Beyond:  Career Opportunities for Ph.D.'s Project, New York State Board of Regents, 1983-84.

The Project published a book on the accomplishments of university programs designed to prepare Ph.D.'s for nonacademic employment.  The book contains articles on such career development programs at six universities -- Harvard, NYU, Pennsylvania/ Wharton, Stanford, UCLA, and Virginia.  The Project also sponsored a national conference on Ph.D.'s in nonacademic careers.  The Director was responsible for soliciting and editing articles, writing the Introduction to the book, and organizing and leading the conference.

Director, National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction, New York State Board of Regents, 1980-84.
Assistant Director, 1979-80.

The Program evaluates and recommends for college credit the continuing education conducted by business and industry, government agencies, professional and trade associations, labor unions, and other noncollegiate organizations.  More than 2,200 courses at 200 organizations nationwide had been recommended for credit through 1984. The Director publicizes and markets Program services; selects college faculty and other subject matter experts as evaluators; chairs site evaluation panels; consults with colleges on the use of the credit recommendations and the development of cooperative arrangements with business, industry, and government; monitors revenues and expenditures; and supervises five staff.

Teaching Experience

Lecturer, Wisconsin Humanities Council Speakers' Bureau, 1998-2002.          

"Seamus Heaney, Nobel Laureate Irish Poet," program for University of the Air, Wisconsin Public Radio, 2000.

"Yeats, Joyce, and Irish Literature," four-part series for University of the Air, Wisconsin Public Radio, 1998.

Teaching Associate, Department of English, University of Minnesota, 1974-79.

Taught the following courses:

  • Introductory Composition.
  • Technical Writing.
  • The English Quarter:  The Epic Tradition.
  • Methods Course for English Majors.
  • The Writing Lab.



Edited with Gina Giuliano and Tammy Hart, SUNY and the Schools: A Guide to SUNY/School Partnerships (Albany:  The State University of New York, 1994), 272 pages.

Edited with Sheila Murdick, Teaching and Beyond: Nonacademic Career Programs for Ph.D.'s (Albany:  The New York State Board of Regents, 1984), 220 pages.

Edited with Carol Wolfe, A Guide to Educational Programs in Noncollegiate Organizations, 1983-84 Edition (Albany:  The New York State Board of Regents, 1983), 528 pages.


"The Engaged Institution, the Twenty-First Century, and the New University Extension," Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 8, No. 1 (2003), pp. 29-36.

"With Greg Wise and Denise Retzleff,"Adapting Scholarship Reconsidered and Scholarship Assessed to Evaluate University of Wisconsin-Extension Outreach Faculty for Tenure and Promotion," Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 7, No. 3 (2002), pp. 5-18.

Biographical Essay on Pat O'Brien, Actor, in The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives, 1, 1981-85, ed. K.T. Jackson (New York: Scribner's, 1998), pp. 607-608.

Biographical Essay on James E. Allen, Jr., New York State and United States Commissioner of Education, in the Dictionary of American Biography, 9, 1971-75, ed. K.T. Jackson (New York:  Scribner's, 1994), pp. 24-26.

"Interstate Authorization of Distance Higher Education via Telecommunications:  The Developing National Consensus in Policy and Practice," The American Journal of Distance Education, 6, No. 2 (1992), pp. 3-16.

"Northern Irish Ironies:  School Reform, the European Economic Community, and Mrs. Thatcher," Eire-Ireland, 26, No. 3 (1991), pp. 121-127.

With Gail Cashen, "Remediation Revisited:  States Struggle to Respond, Educational Record, 69, No. 3/No. 4 (1988), pp.20-25.

"The Greatest Talkers Since the Greeks," Back Page Essay on the Irish and the English Language, Notre Dame Magazine, 14, No. 2 (1985), p. 72.

"Irish Literary Autobiography:  The Goddesses That Poets Dream Of," Eire-Ireland, 16, No. 3 (1981), pp. 57-80.

With John McGarraghy, "College Credit for Corporate Training," in Business and Higher Education:  Toward New Alliances, ed. G. Gold (San Francisco:  Jossey-Bass, 1981), pp. 85-96.

With Carrie Getty and Ronald Knief, "College Credit for In-House Training in the Nuclear Industry," Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium on Training of Nuclear Facility Personnel (American Nuclear Society, 1981), pp. 299-305.

"Re-Membering:  Irish Poetry after Yeats," Eire-Ireland, 15, No. 3 (1980), pp. 120-126.

"Pitching the Mansion and Pumping the Morphine:  Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night," The Gypsy Scholar, 5, No. 1 (1978), pp. 22-33.

Ethic and Ritual in Joyce's Ulysses," Essays in Literature (University of Denver), 2, No. 3 (1974), pp. 59-74.


Edited with Gina Giuliano and Tammy Hart, State University of New York Research Centers and Institutes (Albany:  The State University of New York, 1994), 412 pages.

With Richard Jarvis, Barbara Gitenstein, et al., College Expectations:  The Report of the State University of New York Task Force on College Entry-Level Knowledge and Skills (Albany:  The State University of New York, 1992), 77 pages.

With Doris Garner, Kevin Ryan, et al., The Developing Teacher:  A Report on New York's Statewide Review of Master's Degree Programs in Elementary Education 1985-87 (Albany:  The New York State Board of Regents, 1987), 36 pages.

Selected Professional Activities and Honors

Invited Lectures, Presentations and Panel Discussions (since 2000)

“Who We Are Now:  The Vitality of the Land-Grant Mission in a Global Knowledge Economy,” The James F. Patterson Land-Grant University Lecture, Ohio State University, Columbus, 2006.

“The University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin’s Newspapers,” Associated Press Editors Association Meeting, Wausau, Wisconsin, 2006.

“Managing and Maintaining Quality in Distance Learning,” Interactive Keynote Session, National University Telecommunications Association Meeting, Minneapolis, 2006.

Lead Presenter and Discussant, Dialogue on Leadership, University Continuing Education Association Leadership Academy at New York University, 2005-2007.

Panelist, “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times:  Higher Education and the States,” American Council on Education Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 2005.

“Does the Wisconsin Idea Have Legs?”, International Association of Continuing Higher Education Annual Meeting, Madison, 2005.

Panel Organizer and Panelist, “University Engagement and Controversy,” National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Annual Meeting, San Diego, 2004.

Panel Organizer and Panelist, “Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act:  Can Continuing Education Help Shape the Accountability Theme and Become a Hero in the Process?”, University Continuing Education Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, 2004.

Panel Moderator, "What Makes a Public University Public?",  National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 2003.

"Keeping University Extension High Touch and High Tech in Today's World," Opening Session Address for the National Association of Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agents Annual Conference, Green Bay, 2003.

Moderator, Governor Candidates Debate, Wisconsin Association of County Extension Committees Annual Conference, Wausau, 2002.

Panel Moderator and Panelist, "Community-Based Research at the University of Wisconsin: Labor Force Analysis," American Association for Higher Education Conference on Faculty Roles and Rewards, Phoenix, 2002.

Panel Organizer, Moderator, and Presenter, "Continuing Education and Cooperative Extension: Engaged, Married, or Separated?", Outreach Scholarship Conference, Ohio State University, Columbus, 2002.

Panelist, "Higher Education and Public Broadcasting: A Town Hall Meeting," National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Annual Meeting, Chicago, 2002.

With Marvin Van Kekerix, "Creating a Vision for Extension Education in the Twenty-First Century," Pennsylvania State University Outreach and Extension Leaders Retreat, State College, 2002.

Session Discussion Leader, "New Organizational Configurations/Models for Continuing Education," University Continuing Education Association Executive Assembly, Chicago, 2001.

Panel Moderator, "Statewide Strengths: Regional Activities for Economic Development," Wisconsin Economic Summit, Milwaukee, 2001.

Panelist, "Public Higher Education in the Twenty-First Century," Discussion in Celebration of the Inauguration of the Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, 2001.

Panelist and Co-organizer, "Beyond Outreach and Public Service—Implications for the University of Committing to the Engagement Ideal," University Continuing Education Association Board and Commissioners Meeting, St. Louis, 2000. 

Panelist, "Opportunities and Potential for the Wisconsin Economy," Wisconsin Economic Summit, Milwaukee, 2000.

Seminar Facilitator, "The Continuing Education CEO as Institutional and Statewide Player in the Era of the Engaged University,"  University Continuing Education Association Executive Assembly, Chicago, 2000.

Milwaukee Rotary Club Talk on the University of Wisconsin-Extension, 2000.

Fund Raising

Involved in successfully soliciting grants and gifts totaling more than $4 million from the American Institute of Banking, Ameritech, AT&T, the Carnegie Corporation, the Epsilon Sigma Phi Association, the Exxon Education Foundation, Firstar Bank, IBM, Manufacturers Hanover Trust, McGraw-Hill, Merrill Lynch, the New York Power Authority, the New York State Department of Education, the New York State Department of Labor, New York Telephone, the Pfizer Foundation, Public Service Electric and Gas, the Pyle Family, the Sloan Foundation, Texaco, and Xerox.  On-air fund raiser for Wisconsin Public Television and Wisconsin Public Radio.  Launched the first annual campaign for the University of Wisconsin-Extension.


Member, Selection Committee for the Service to America Medals (“Sammies”) for Outstanding Federal Employees, awarded by the Partnership for Public Service, Washington, DC, 2007.

Judge, C. Peter Magrath University/Community Engagement Award, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, 2007.

Member, Town and Gown Society of Madison, Wisconsin, 2005-present.

Reviewer, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Education Program, 2003 and 1997.

Mary Nell Greenwood Extension Evaluation Award from the American Evaluation Association, 2002.

Reviewer, University of Nebraska Research Initiative, 1998.

Reviewer, Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), 1994.

Member, Visiting Delegation of American Educators, Sponsored by the British Council, to Review the School System in Northern Ireland, 1990.

New York State Management Performance Awards, 1990 and 1989.

Judge, YWCA of Albany Black Culture Essay Contest, 1988 and 1987.

Presenter, Training Workshop for Judges, 1990 and 1989.

At the University of Minnesota:

Graduate School Bush Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, 1978-79.

Nominee, College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Teaching Associate Award, 1978.

Twin Cities Student Assembly Award "for an outstanding contribution to extra-academic student leadership and service," 1977.

Martin Ruud Fellowship for Distinguished Graduate Students, 1974.


Co-founder, Wisconsin Higher Education/Business Roundtable, 2006.

Expert Consultant, Review of Ohio State University Extension, 2005.

Executive Committee, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges Council on Extension, Continuing Education and Public Service, 2003-Present.

University Continuing Education Association Presidential Nominating Committee, 2003-04.

University Continuing Education Association Annual Awards Committee, 2003-04.

Commissioner, American Council on Education Commission on Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, 2000-03. Chair, 2001-03.

Board Member, University Continuing Education Association, 2000-03.

Vice Chair, University Continuing Education Association Commission on Leadership and Management, 2000-03.

Reviewer, Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement (The University of Georgia), 2003.

At the University of Wisconsin:

Executive Committee, Wisconsin State Campus Compact for Service Learning, 2002-Present.

Federal Relations Council, 2001-Present.

UW Learning Innovations (the University's online program support unit) Advisory Board, 1997-Present.

Search and Screen Committee, Director of Federal Relations, 2001.

Chancellors Group on Online Learning, 2001.

Expert Consultant, Project on Reforging the Links between Universities and Public Television Stations, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, 1999-2001.

Task Force on Accountability Reporting, 1999-2001.

Task Force on Distance Education Standards, 1999-2000.

Chair, College Credit in High School Policy Working Group, 1998.

Reviewer, Wisconsin Humanities Council Governor's Award for Excellence in Public Humanities Support, 1998.

Co-Chair, Working Group on Funding Instructional Communications Systems, 1997-98.

Provosts' Working Group on Academic Programs and Instructional Technology, 1996-97.

At the State University of New York:

Staff Director, Search for the Chancellor of the State University of New York, 1996.

New York State K-12 Curriculum and Assessment Council, 1994-96.

Budget Resource Allocation Methodology Committee, 1994-96.

New York State School-to-Work Advisory Committee, 1994-96.

Faculty Senator, 1993-96.

Co-chair, New York College Transition Course Development Council, 1993-96.

Search Committee for the Assistant Provost for Health Sciences, 1994-95.

Steering Committee for the New York State Governor's Education Summit, 1994.

Task Group on Distance Learning, 1994.

External Evaluator, Performance Review of the Dean of Education at the State University of New York College at New Paltz, 1993.

Task Force on College Entry-Level Knowledge and Skills, 1991-92.