Chancellor’s Update: An Unprecedented Partnership

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Dear Faculty and Staff,

As summer officially arrives, I could not be more pleased to share with you the news of an unprecedented partnership with UW-Milwaukee, Northwestern Mutual and Marquette University. We will formally announce at a media event tomorrow that, together, we are launching the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute.

Northwestern Mutual and its foundation will contribute $12.5M, and UWM and Marquette will each contribute in kind and fundraising of $11.25M over the next 5 years. The total $35M investment will support endowed professors, data science faculty positions, research projects, and expanded student programming which will begin this fall. The Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute will focus on strengthening the technology talent pipeline, promote Milwaukee as a region that attracts and retains technology firms and talent, and solve problems with research—ideal for our mission of student success, research excellence, community engagement and talent pipeline development.

Increasingly, our world is using ‘big data’ to solve problems, whether in business, education, health, criminal justice, or the environment. Here at UWM, data science is interdisciplinary and spans research in social welfare, computer science, health, business, engineering, and many other areas on and off campus. Think of how Distinguished Professor Paul Roebber is using big data to change how forecasters around the world predict the weather. Or, how Associate Professor Tina Freiburger’s data analysis revealed racial disparity in Milwaukee County sentencing of young, black males. The depth and impact of this, and other important work like it, is expected to continue its rapid expansion in our society.

You have heard me talk about partnerships being vital to our future. This is a big one. We are thrilled to step forward in collaboration with Northwestern Mutual and Marquette University to draw us closer to building a region that is rich in technological and analytical expertise and that attracts new and strengthens existing organizations and industries while enriching our students and communities.


Best regards, 

Mark A. Mone
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee