Winter message from Director Susan Yackee

Portrait of Susan Webb Yackee
Susan Webb Yackee, La Follette School Director and Professor

Dear Friends of the La Follette School,

Every day, I am inspired by our students’ passion to change the world through policy. I am proud we are training tomorrow’s leaders to discover evidence-based solutions to important issues by finding common ground. Here at La Follette, we strive to convene productive, civil conversations and encourage political compromise – not only in our classrooms, but in our communities. And we are ready to do so much more.

With the School’s 40th anniversary quickly approaching, we have much to look forward to. In spring 2024, my colleague Greg Nemet will step in to serve as interim director while I am on sabbatical. I am grateful Greg will be here to lead the hiring of five new faculty members, who will bring broader expertise to the School. La Follette is also pursuing three strategic priorities that will enable more growth for the School:

  • Create UW’s first undergraduate major in public policy
  • Build a new home for the School in the heart of campus
  • Connect more students with hands-on experiences such as internships and research and provide
    additional opportunities for tuition support

By investing in the La Follette School, your philanthropic support will ensure its position as a leader among the world’s premier schools of public policy. We are well-positioned to address society’s public policy challenges and serve future policy leaders for decades to come. We are at a turning point for Wisconsin and our University, and the La Follette School is ready to lead the way. Please consider making a gift today.

Make a gift

Your donation will make a difference in the lives of La Follette students. With an annual gift of $500 or a monthly installment of $41.67, you will become a member of the La Follette School Leadership Circle, which includes invitations to special events, a small thank-you gift, and member-only updates, news, and information.

I hope you will consider making a gift online or by calling (608) 443-6162. I also encourage you to stay in touch by sending your latest updates to We enjoy hearing from you!

Thank you, and have a wonderful holiday season. On, Wisconsin!

Susan Yackee
Professor of Public Affairs
Director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs

The impact of your gift

Portrait of Hannah Kramer
“One word I would use to describe the
La Follette School is empowering,” says Hannah Kramer, undergraduate certificate in health policy student
  • Help us recruit the best and brightest students
  • Support scholarships for students in a broad range of internship experiences
  • Respond to unprecedented student demand for public policy education and careers in organizations with public and nonprofit missions
  • Help position La Follette to grow our program; we expect to teach more than 4,000 students annually within five years of the new undergraduate major’s launch:
    • The major will quickly become one of the top 20 majors on campus, enrolling 400 students
    • The number of public policy courses offered to students from across campus will more than double — resulting in a 138% increase over today’s undergraduate course offerings
  • Fill a critical need for a larger and better-trained workforce in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors at the local, state, federal, and international levels

Pie chart showing that 85% of our public policy certificate students admitted in 2022 said they would have declared a major in public policy if one had been available.

Undergraduate major enrollment demand

Projected course enrollment demand

Line graph showing demand for undergraduate courses outpacing capacity in 2023-2024. By 2028-2029 the 4,200 students would like to take our undergraduate courses, but there is only capacity to teach 681 students.

Subscribe to our newsletter