University of Wisconsin–Madison

UniverCity Year Dane County

Since its formation as a territorial county in 1836, Dane County has seen constant population growth. With approximately 516,000 residents, it is the second largest county in Wisconsin, yet agriculture remains an important part of the county’s economy. The Dane County Board of Supervisors (made up of 37 elected representatives) is the county’s legislative and policy-making body, and it is the entity sponsoring this UniverCity Year partnership. Sharon Corrigan of Middleton currently chairs the county board. The Dane County Executive is the chief elected official, responsible for the overall operation and management of the county. Joe Parisi is currently serving his second four-year term in this position.

Four project areas

Research will highlight county economic and workforce development programs across the country that successfully create opportunities for youth, veterans, minorities and ex-offenders while advancing racial equity, social equity and sustainability.

Research will focus on innovative national and international programs that address the shortage of affordable, sustainable and equitable housing affecting veterans, rural elderly, families and low-income residents. Projects will identify financing approaches for new development and for housing rehabilitation, and also include the design of data systems to analyze housing information.

A number of people repeatedly cycle through jails, mental health facilities and social services. Projects will use data analytics to identify frequent users of county services, discuss best case interventions for complex cases, and identify collaborative and innovative financing to meet needs.

Research will identify sustainable agricultural practices that protect and improve the quality of the county’s waterways. Projects will focus on innovative technologies and business models for nutrient management, as well as analysis of the overall economic impact of the lakes. Students will develop communication and outreach plans to gain resident involvement, support and assistance in implementing proposals.

Get involved with UniverCity Year Dane County

We are now matching up projects the county identified with Fall 2017 courses at UW-Madison. Faculty and instructional staff interested in learning more about the projects and/or teaching a UniverCity Year Dane County class should contact us as soon as possible. Informational meetings with faculty and county staff will occur in April and May 2017, with project scoping happening through August 2017.