Frederick A. Robertson, MD
Fred Robertson (’80 MD MED) retired in June 2011 as president and CEO of TomoTherapy Inc. in Middleton, Wisconsin. He began his career by spending more than a dozen years as a practicing anesthesiologist, then earned an MBA and became CEO of what is now GE Marquette Medical Systems. He joined TomoTherapy in 2005, and he was elected to the University of Wisconsin Foundation Board of Directors in 2008. Now in his fourth year of service to the Board, he recently became chair of the membership committee.
Why is the work of the membership committee important in shaping the Board?
Our primary function is to recommend prospective candidates for nomination to the Board. We look at an individual’s commitment to the University of Wisconsin-Madison as expressed through philanthropy, service on boards of visitors and professional contributions.
New Board members need to understand the role of the Foundation and the growing importance of philanthropy as a source of future funding. They need to be passionate about the University of Wisconsin. We want Board members who are actively engaged, and they need to have the time and energy for service
Individuals bring professional expertise to enhance the work of the Board, and we need a diverse set of skills. The Board oversees all Foundation activities—the development piece is only one critical part—we need to have a broad view.
Are Board members “hands on” in Foundation functions?
Yes. One example is the Foundation’s leadership role in oversight of the campus-wide Information Technology project that will lead to a shared, robust data platform for the University, the Wisconsin Alumni Association and the Foundation. The Foundation Board has created an IT subcommittee within our audit committee to assist in overseeing this project. Success is tied to working together to enhance the University, and this is critical because we will need to reach and manage our donor base even more effectively in the future than we do today.
Why did you accept nomination for Board service when you were asked in 2008?
I’m grateful for the opportunities my University of Wisconsin education has afforded me. Of my three children, two are current UW students, a junior and a senior, and one has graduated from UW-Madison. I have the energy and passion to work on behalf of the University to ensure its ongoing success for future generations.