It’s official. Mike Knetter has become the third president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He follows in the footsteps of Robert Rennebohm (’48 CALS) and Andrew A. “Sandy” Wilcox.
“This new role will enable me to focus on facilitating support for the entire university and build on the success that the Foundation has enjoyed throughout its history.” said Knetter, who moves to the Foundation from his role as dean of the Wisconsin School of Business.
The Rhinelander, Wisconsin, native earned his bachelor’s degrees in economics and mathematics in 1983 from UW-Eau Claire and a PhD in economics from Stanford University in 1988. He taught at Dartmouth College’s Amos Tuck School of Business before being named School of Business dean in 2002.
Once on campus, the mind that led Knetter to serve as a senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton started considering the economic model for higher education at UW-Madison.
“When you look at the landscape of higher education, it’s been a constantly moving target in terms of the financial blend of tax money, tuition and private gifts funding the core operations of the University,” he said. “It’s likely to be the case that the way the University gets funded will shift more and more to tuition dollars and gift money.”
This new role will enable me to focus on facilitating support for the entire university and build on the success that the Foundation has enjoyed throughout its history.
Mike Knetter, president, UW Foundation
He is cognizant that the Foundation traditionally has not made itself the center of attention while raising, investing and distributing billions of dollars in support of the University. “That’s as it should be,” he said. “We will remain an independent organization that is very important to the work done on campus.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t have points of view on these issues, and it doesn’t mean that these issues won’t partly define what our campaigns are about,” he said. “I think it’s very important that all of us at the Foundation understand at a great level of detail what the state of play is for the financing of higher education in America.”