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The Distance from Public Institutions of Higher Education: Public Perceptions of UW–Madison

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Publication Date: March 2012

Publisher(s): Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education (WISCAPE), University of Wisconsin-Madison

Series:

Special Collection:

Topic: Education (Colleges and universities)

Keywords: Outreach, Engagement, and the Public Good ; University Relations

Type: Report

Coverage: United States Wisconsin

Abstract:

Public opinion matters for the administration of public higher education. Yet, we know little about how members of the public conceptualize these institutions in general, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in particular. This study investigates how Wisconsinites think about UW-Madison through investigations of conversations regularly occurring among 36 groups sampled from 27 communities statewide. It reveals a pervasive sense of distance from UW-Madison that is part of a broader sense of disconnection from institutions of authority. The implication is that positive relationships between UW-Madison and the mass public will require innovative means of listening and relationship building.