Michael Knetter Named New University of Wisconsin Foundation President

MADISON, Wis – News Michael M. Knetter, Nicholas Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business and vice chancellor for advancement at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been named the new president and chief executive officer of the UW Foundation.

Michael Knetter

Michael M. Knetter, newly named President and CEO

Knetter will succeed Andrew A. “Sandy” Wilcox, who has served 22 years as president and will retire at the end of 2010. Knetter will join the Foundation on October 16. He 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 joined the Wisconsin School of Business as its dean in July 2002.

As dean, he orchestrated the novel $85 million Wisconsin Naming Gift, the expansion of Grainger Hall, the restructuring and improved national standing of the full-time MBA program, and the restructuring and expansion of the Enterprise MBA programs for working professionals.

A national search was conducted by the firm SpencerStuart under the auspices of a search committee appointed by the Foundation’s Board of Directors.“The richness of Mike’s background makes him uniquely qualified for this important position,” said Frances S. “Fran” Taylor, chair of the Foundation board. “As dean, Mike repositioned the Wisconsin School of Business, improving focus and effectiveness, especially in the full-time, evening and executive MBA programs and external relations efforts. He has been actively engaged in fundraising and has already developed many important relationships with UW-Madison donors.

“He was instrumental in developing the recent transformational gift of $85 million, given to the Wisconsin School of Business. This major gift, involving multiple donors, garnered positive national attention,” Taylor said. “Mike’s additional background as an economist and his recent engagement on both corporate and investment boards further contribute to the range of skills and experience we looked for in our next leader.”

Chancellor Biddy Martin said, “We are fortunate to have someone with Mike’s experience, talent and energy as the next president of the UW Foundation. As dean of the Wisconsin School of Business and vice chancellor for advancement, he has been an innovative leader, dedicated to enhancing the quality of the School and the university as a whole. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Dean Knetter said: “While I have enjoyed many aspects of my work at Wisconsin, nothing has given me greater satisfaction than engaging alumni in support of our mission. The support alumni and friends have provided for our programs, MBA centers, faculty chairs, the new wing of Grainger Hall, unrestricted annual gift fund and, ultimately, the Wisconsin Naming Gift have been vital to our progress and fulfilling to all involved. 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.”

Knetter has worked in a variety of public policy, academic, and executive leadership positions including senior staff economist for the President’s Council of Economic Advisers for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and board member for American Family Insurance, Neuberger Berman Funds, and Wausau Paper. Prior to joining the school, he was associate dean of the MBA program and professor of international economics in the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

Wilcox will assume the title of president emeritus, effective October 16, through his retirement. During this period, he will assist Knetter, ensuring a smooth transition.

Established in 1945, the University of Wisconsin Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation that raises, invests and distributes funds for the benefit of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Since 1988, when Wilcox assumed his duties as president, the Foundation’s assets under management have grown from $190 million to $2.5 billion, gift receipts have totaled $3 billion and distributions to the University of Wisconsin-Madison have totaled more than $2 billion. Most recently, he led the successful $1.8 billion “Create the Future: The Wisconsin Campaign,” which concluded in 2006.

For more about the Foundation, visit www.supportuw.org.