Business voice in UW-Madison chancellor selection?

The “diverse committee” to select the next chancellor of UW-Madison needs a business voice.

The state’s flagship campus is smack-dab in the middle of the Wisconsin strategy to reinvent its economy. It is not only involved in the supply side of the economy — providing talented graduates to companies and organizations — but it also needs to be engaged in the demand side — providing the intellectual property for the creation and growth of companies and jobs.

UW-Madison has been spectacluar in landing fedeal R&D money, now more than $1 billion a year, at processing patents and peddling licenses. Then comes the disconnect: starting many high growth companies from that IP.

The next chancellor needs to understand those dynamics in a clear way, just like the new chancellor at UW – Milwaukee, Mike Lovell, understands them.

The selection commmittee will include faculty and staff members, students and “community representatives.” The latter category needs to included some early stage investors and entrepreneurs, people who understand the innovation economy.

Even better, the committee may want to name an entrepreneur to the chancellor post.

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