Wiley to tackle interim role leading new institute

University Communications

Outgoing Chancellor John D. Wiley has been named the new interim director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery (WID), the public half of the new research center that promises to be a model of interdisciplinary science and public-private collaboration.

Wiley’s appointment, effective Nov. 1, 2008, was announced by UW-Madison Graduate School Dean Martin Cadwallader. Wiley will take over for Marsha Mailick Seltzer, who has guided development of WID for nearly two years, in addition to her duties as director UW-Madison’s Waisman Center.

In addition to the 25 percent appointment as interim WID director, Wiley will apply his considerable knowledge and experience in higher education as a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA) and at the Robert M. LaFollette School of Public Affairs. In addition, he will have a zero-dollar appointment as senior scholar at The Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Post-secondary Education (WISCAPE).

Wiley intends to continue a number of lines of research on policy-related matters, including the finance and economics of higher education, and the accreditation of programs and institutions of higher education. He will also continue to advance initiatives for the Worldwide Universities Network (WUN), of which UW-Madison is a member, and will continue to serve as chair of the executive committee of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

“We’re very pleased that John Wiley has agreed to continue to serve the university by accepting this critical position,” says Cadwallader. “He, of course, brings a wealth of experience and the kinds of connections that will help us develop the institute to its fullest potential and position it well for the future.”

Cadwallader praised Seltzer’s leadership, noting that she has established a firm footing for an institute that is unique to the Madison campus. Seltzer was instrumental in forging the academic planning for WID and developing a plan for how the new institute will be seeded with faculty from disciplines ranging from nanotechnology to biology and computational sciences.

“I am delighted that WID will be led by John Wiley. He is a perfect fit for the mission and science of the new institute,” says Seltzer. “It has been an extraordinary experience for me to have served as interim director for the past two years and I have learned a great deal in the process. There is no one better able than John Wiley to build on the foundation we have established and to take WID into the future.”

WID is the public component of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The private part, funded by $50 million donations from Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and John and Tashia Morgridge, is known as the Morgridge Institute for Research or MIR. The twin institutes are scheduled to open in 2010.

Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of WARF, says Wiley will add an important new dimension to efforts to jump-start what will be a critical new center of interdisciplinary research for the Madison campus.

“All of us at WARF are excited and very pleased that John Wiley is willing to do this,” notes Gulbrandsen. “There is really no one better qualified than he to take the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery to its next level in development. As chancellor and a WARF trustee, he has been involved since day one in its creation.”