Apply to partner with UW-Madison’s UniverCity Year

UniverCity Year, a program aimed at finding practical solutions to community-based challenges, is seeking a new local government partner for the 2019-2022 academic years. The deadline to apply is July 29, 2019.

UW-Madison students discuss landscape architecture designs with residents in Monticello, part of the UniverCity Year partnership with Green County, WI.

A three-year partnership between a Wisconsin county, or municipality and UW–Madison, UniverCity Year (UCY) engages with government partners through a simple process.

First, the partner identifies a set of issues questions (for example, health-related initiatives, park designs, sustainability projects, etc.). Then, UCY matches those priorities with UW–Madison courses where faculty and students develop recommendations. Finally, the local government partner receives research, reports, designs, and proposals, as well as help in implementing them.

As Cara Carper, executive director of the Green County Development Corporation said, “We see [UCY] as an opportunity to bring resources to issues that have been identified by our communities in their comprehensive plans and other planning processes, but without funding or staff, have been delayed. Green County is proud to participate in the UniverCity Year and support UW–Madison’s commitment to the Wisconsin Idea by bringing the resources of the university to the farther reaches of the state.”

Since 2015, UCY has worked with the City of Monona as well as three counties, Dane, Green, and Pepin, and engaged with hundreds of students and faculty members on dozens of projects in communities across Wisconsin. Together, UCY, students, faculty, and communities are finding feasible solutions that spark momentum towards a more sustainable, livable, and resilient future.

These efforts have proven to be a win-win for local governments and UW-Madison. As Monona Mayor Mary O’Connor noted, “Our return was definitely worth far more than our initial investment. The completed projects will save Monona tax dollars in the future because we will be able to go to consultants with refined project ideas, avoiding the time and expense of the initial development process.”

Likewise, UCY managing director Gavin Luter stated, “Our students have the unique opportunity to study alongside accomplished professionals and insightful community members, which allows them to learn from their knowledge and experience,” said Gavin Luter, UCY managing director.

If you have any questions about crafting your proposal, please contact Gavin Luter (; 608-261-1141). More information is also available online at