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  • The Milwaukee Idea is UWM’s initiative to forge vital and long-lasting community-university partnerships that enhance the quality of life for all.

  • The Milwaukee Idea is committed to collaborative effort, the advancement of diversity and the creation of fundamental change for the campus and the community.

  • The Milwaukee Idea builds on UWM’s demonstrated success in sharing its academic expertise and research capability with the community.


  • Since its inception in 1999, The Milwaukee Idea has brought together hundreds of people from the community and the university in partnerships that address challenges in education, the environment, health and economic development.

Through The Milwaukee Idea UWM is:

  • Developing new ways of learning that emphasize community experiences.

  • Expanding basic and applied research and scholarship.

  • Fostering creative approaches to economic development in our neighborhoods and across the state.

  • Forming partnerships to better our health and the health of our communities.

Some Examples:

  • Innovative UWM programs developed in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Schools are improving how teachers teach and students learn in our urban schools.

  • Expanded educational opportunities created in collaboration with Milwaukee’s nonprofit organizations are the strengthening the management and leadership capacity of nonprofits and the vital services they provide.

  • New urban housing that is energy efficient, affordable and easily integrated into city neighborhoods is taking shape through a UWM partnership that brings together the city of Milwaukee, Wells Fargo Bank and WE Energies.

  • Pioneering research at UWM conducted in partnership with major corporations like Rockwell Automation, Intel and Ford holds the promise of greatly reducing industrial breakdowns.

  • UWM service learning programs have brought over 1000 students out of their classrooms and into the community for experiences which offer them a chance to enrich their learning while making a meaningful contribution to a community organization.

  • UWM's Great Lakes WATER Institute is conducting extensive research on how to protect the nation's freshwater drinking supply with the support of $2 million grant from the United States Department of Defense.

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