The University of Wisconsin is undeniably one of the great assets of the city of Madison, not to mention the state. The university is about to demonstrably emphasize its link with the larger community when it officially opens the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, a $210 million research, exposition and educational complex, on Dec. 2. In anticipation of this new chapter of university/community interaction, we present two articles in this issue, one regarding the complex and one about the future of the university.
In "An Engine for Creativity," Alicia Yager describes the 300,000-square-foot Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, which comprises both public and private research facilities as well as a Town Center, on Orchard Street on the near west area of campus. This development is about as concrete a demonstration of what UW Chancellor Biddy Martin refers to as being "globally competitive" as you could want - a massive and impressive attempt to meld the university with the community.
Martin talks about her vision of the university as a development tool for Wisconsin in our cover story by Vic Feuerherd, "Biddy's Bold Agenda." Martin definitely has a vision, but it's unclear how it will fare after the abrupt sea change in state government resulting from the recent elections. We didn't hear a lot in the campaign regarding the university. Our hope is that the wisdom of not injecting political elements into the governance of the UW prevails.
There are still a couple of dozen tickets left, as of this writing, for the Isthmus Indie Awards celebration on Monday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Eldorado Grill. The event honors the winners of the first annual awards as profiled in last week's Isthmus. The tickets cost $25 and are available only at the Isthmus office, 101 King St., or over the phone at 608-251-5627. This may be the last non-holiday-themed party you attend this year.