Thank you from Vice Chancellor Heller

Dear Finance and Administration Staff,

As 2017 winds down and UW-Madison enters its semester break, I want to take a moment to thank you for all you do for this university.

UW-Madison is a great university because of the commitment of students, faculty and staff to make it so. The university’s exceptional reputation, rooted in its celebrated history and traditions, thrives on your continuing dedication to students, the state and the greater good.

We have good reason to look to the future with optimism. After a period of state budget cuts, we are on an upward trajectory in terms of financial support. The 2017-19 state budget increased funding for the UW System, including resources to invest in our aging infrastructure and long-overdue employee compensation increases.

We have seen resourceful and innovative measures all across campus to enhance educational quality, improve our research enterprise, expand outreach and make our operations more effective. We also have found new opportunities to reward faculty and staff who make the university go. One noteworthy example is the pay boost we were able to provide for our night-shift and weekend employees, many of whom are among our lowest-paid staff. This action came in response to the advocacy of University Staff Governance.

In addition, we are making substantial progress on the Title and Total Compensation Study, which will help the university attract and keep the best talent. What has impressed me the most about the study is the extensive, open and honest conversations with staff.  In fact, we have had more than 2,500 university employees participate in this project through feedback sessions.

We also can take great pride in UW-Madison’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive learning and working environment in which everyone feels welcomed, valued and able to contribute.

In Finance and Administration units, our Engagement, Inclusion and Diversity (EID) Initiative continues to gain momentum and lead to ideas for making this a welcoming workplace. And just last week, campus community members had the opportunity to attend the Second- and Third-Shift Diversity Forum and celebrate the efforts of employees who provide exceptional support to the university’s mission – often behind the scenes.

These are only a few examples of why I am confident that UW-Madison’s brightest days are ahead. And anyone who says otherwise simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

We will, of course, continue to face formidable challenges. But we will succeed through our creativity and resourcefulness, working with a shared sense of purpose and possessed by an unwavering commitment to the guiding principle we so proudly call the Wisconsin Idea.

I wish all of you the best as we approach semester break and the holiday season. I hope you find ample opportunities to spend quality time with family and friends.

Thank you again for making UW-Madison such a special place and for making us all proud to be Badgers. On Wisconsin!

See you in 2018!

Laurent Heller

Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration