The La Follette School supports the Wisconsin Idea through our efforts to create and share research across the state and around the world.

The Wisconsin Idea

Education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

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About The Wisconsin Idea

One of the longest and deepest traditions surrounding the University of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Idea signifies a general principle: that education should influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Synonymous with Wisconsin for more than a century, this “Idea” has become the guiding philosophy of university outreach efforts in Wisconsin and throughout the world.

Today, more than ever, faculty, students, and staff at the La Follette School of Public Affairs practice the Wisconsin Idea across the state and around the world through research, teaching, and outreach.

Partner with La Follette students

Each year, La Follette School students partner with public, nonprofit, and private sector organizations to address real-world challenges. These partnerships provide research and analytic support to organizations and experience for our students

Find an expert

La Follette School faculty members regularly discuss their world-class policy research with the media and policymakers.

Professor Menzie Chinn talks with someone in front of a whiteboard

Connecting with policymakers

The La Follette School of Public Affairs has a long history of collaboration with legislators and policymakers, sharing research to inform decision-making and make a positive difference in people’s lives.

View inside the Wisconsin State Capitol rotunda.

Public events

Every year, the La Follette School convenes policy experts to inform and engage the the public through regular events.

Areas we impact

The areas we focus on as we train leaders and conduct research to inspire evidence-based policymaking and advance the public good.

Including Social Policy, Health and Aging, Public Management, Energy and the Environment, and International Policy and Economics.