Two leading institutions, one shared commitment: helping Wisconsin grow.

The University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension may be led by a single chancellor and administration, but we are united by more than our infrastructure. We share a vision of vibrant Wisconsin communities, made stronger by the pioneering spirit of their people—and access to the support, information, resources and expertise of the entire University of Wisconsin.

Inspired by the Wisconsin Idea, UW Colleges and UW-Extension are determined to positively impact every corner of our state:

  • By helping Wisconsin’s people achieve their goals, by bringing world-class educators, respected degree programs and cutting-edge classroom experiences closer to home.
  • By contributing to Wisconsin’s economic growth with shared expertise and programs that support economic development, innovation, entrepreneurship and a skilled workforce.
  • By supporting Wisconsin communities as they grow through public- and private-sector partnerships and initiatives that connect our businesses, institutions and 5.7 million residents to helpful research and resources.

Our Institutions

Whether we’re providing expertise in the field or outstanding learning experiences in our communities, the complementary programs and services of UW Colleges and UW-Extension are making a measurable difference

For more than 25,000 Wisconsinites each year, UW Colleges makes getting a highly respected education possible. Thirteen freshman/sophomore campuses and UW Colleges Online serve more first-generation college students, more part-time students and more adult undergrads than any other institution in the UW System.

You can find UW-Extension services almost everywhere in Wisconsin too. (Just ask Wisconsin’s farmers, students, homeowners, families, 4-H kids, employers and fans of Wisconsin Public Radio and Television for a start.) With offices in three tribal nations and all 72 counties, every Wisconsin citizen has access to UW-Extension’s impressive array of continuing education, small business development and cooperative programs.

 

Our Institutions

Our History

The University of Wisconsin’s commitment to reach beyond the borders of our campuses and improve the lives of our neighbors, their communities and enterprises stretches back more than 100 years.

Timeline

1885
UW-Extension

The UW College of Agriculture is granted $5,000 to establish Farmers’ Institutes to support the dairy and farming industry.

1907
UW-Extension

Just three years after espousing the Wisconsin Idea, UW President Van Hise establishes the University Extension Division.

1940
UW Colleges

New two-year extension centers, including eight community colleges, spring up around the state to serve returning service men and women.

1965
UW-Extension

Several UW-Madison extension and outreach units are combined into one: University Extension, headed by a chancellor.

1971
UW Colleges
UW-Extension

University of Wisconsin and Wisconsin State University merge, forming the UW System.

1997
UW Colleges

The system’s community college campuses adopt a new name, UW Colleges.

2005
UW Colleges
UW-Extension

Leadership of UW-Extension and UW Colleges is consolidated under one chancellor and a centralized administrative staff.

2015
UW Colleges
UW-Extension

The 13 campuses that compose UW Colleges are organized into four regions.

UW Colleges and Extension logos

Our Leadership & Strategic Vision

Though we are driven by separate missions and seek to serve Wisconsin students and residents in different ways, UW Colleges and UW-Extension share a defining vision: to benefit everyone in this state by providing maximum access to a wealth of research and resources.

Making that vision a reality takes the efforts of an integrated administrative staff led by Chancellor Cathy Sandeen. Working together, our combined leadership team is helping UW Colleges and UW-Extension deliver the programs, services and learning experiences Wisconsin needs—more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

 

Chancellor Sandeen

Cathy Sandeen

Chancellor

UWC & UWEX

Our Impact

Nearly 200,000 Wisconsinites tap into UW Colleges and UW-Extension resources every single day. Each one of those resources—our people, campuses and extension offices—is a vital part of the community it serves, there to help leaders and learners put their own great ideas into practice.

Our statewide impact can be measured in five key areas:

  • Enhancing Quality of Life
  • Educational Access and Innovation
  • Leadership and Civic Engagement
  • Supporting Families and Communities
  • Economic Development

 

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