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David Krakauer Makes Cover Of Isthmus

January 26, 2013

It is not every week that someone from our block in Madison makes the cover of Isthmus!

Here is how this interesting read starts….

You know the standard model for a university administrator: polite, unflappable, professionally groomed, able to recite policy in long or short form, kind of boring, skilled at disguising true feelings and, of course, intent on keeping a lid on things.

And then there is David Krakauer, director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, UW-Madison’s groundbreaking effort to reshape the university in the 21st century. Wired UK named him last year as one of the 50 people who will change the world.

Krakauer’s appearance at the February 2012 luncheon of the Wisconsin Innovation Network at the Sheraton Hotel was close to a seismic event. Walls shook, the ground trembled. The 83 attendees might have choked momentarily on their baked ziti for what he had to say about the topsy-turvy university world.

This Oxford-trained evolutionary theorist offered a sweeping take on the great trends rattling the UW. In particular: that the UW’s platform for undergraduate education was breaking apart. That the departmental model for intellectual inquiry was outmoded. That funding for research was in flux. And that rapid change was very much the order of the day. But as threatening as all this was, the opportunities — in teaching, in research, in bringing research to market to benefit the Wisconsin economy — were even greater.

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