Mission and Governance Statement

The mission of the Center includes Research, Teaching, and Public Service. The central function of the Center is to advance excellence in survey research on the UW-Madison campus by:

  • Providing survey expertise to University of Wisconsin faculty and staff research projects
  • Providing facilities to conduct high quality academic survey research
  • Conducting and facilitating methodological research on the survey research process
The Center participates in the University's teaching mission by supporting training in survey research at both the undergraduate and graduate levels through support of courses, through research assistant and intern positions, and special programs and presentations. The Center extends the University's mission of public service through the medium of survey research by:

  • Consulting on and conducting survey research in support of University assessment activities
  • Conducting survey research for governmental units, primarily within Wisconsin
  • Conducting survey research for non-profit agencies
  • Where appropriate, partnering with private sector agencies to conduct survey research in the public interest*.
* Examples of appropriate work for private sector clients include, for example, consumer assessments of HMO performance or public opinion surveys for newspapers or other media outlets


UWSC Governance

Steering (Executive) Committee

Responsibilities of the Steering Committee: Provide policy direction for the Center Provide budgetary oversight Conduct search for Director; recommend candidate for Director to the Dean Review annual report of the Director Advise the Director and Associate Directors on policy and operational issues Participate in the Center's Strategic Planning

  • Promote the position of the Center throughout the University
  • Participate in Center's efforts to secure external funding
  • Promote the interests of the Center within and outside the UW-Madison
Membership: (Seven members, plus the Director)
Members shall be nominated by the Director; and appointed by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science Steering Committee members should have an interest in survey research; the majority of the committee shall be persons who have had survey projects conducted by the Center Members of the Steering Committee will have staggered three-year terms - in any year two or three members' terms will expire; members may succeed themselves, recognizing that both continuity and broad participation, and both stability and innovation, are desirable, (Initially three members shall be appointed to three-year terms; two to two-year terms; and two to one-year terms.) The Steering Committee shall include at least two members with primary appointments in colleges other than L and S No more than two of the seven members of the Committee shall be from any one department. The Director shall serve as chair of the steering committee.

The Steering Committee will meet at least twice each year, once in the fall and once in the spring. Additional meetings may be called by the chair, or by any two members of the steering committee. Each fall the Director shall report to the Committee on the state of the Center Between meetings, the Director shall apprise the members of important developments, and its members shall be available to the Director for informal counsel.

The Director and Associate Directors

The Director is a member of the UW-Madison Faculty. The Director is appointed by the Dean of the College of Letters and Science, upon recommendation by the Steering Committee The initial term of a Director will be three years; it may be renewed upon recommendation of the Steering Committee and concurrence of the Dean. There is no limit on the length of time that an individual may serve as Director. The Director:

  • Is responsible for oversight of operations of the Center Appoints Associate Directors, in consultation with the Steering Committee
  • Supervises and evaluates the performance of the Associate Directors Reports on the state of the Center to the Steering Committee and to the Dean
  • Oversees the fiscal health of the Center Represents Center's interests within the University community
  • Provides consultation to UWSC staff members and clients on survey research issues Prepares and submits proposals on behalf of the Center
Associate Directors:
The Center will have one or more Associate Directors. The Associate Directors and the Director function as the Center's leadership team, setting and implementing its basic policies.
  • Associate Directors may be Academic Staff or Faculty members
  • Associate Directors are appointed by the Director, with the concurrence of the Steering Committee
  • One Associate Director shall be designated as the Associate Director for Survey Operations.
The Associate Director for Survey Operations shall have responsibility for:
  • Hiring and supervising key staff members (in consultation with the Director and other staff members)
  • Managing the Center's relationship with clients
  • Managing the Center's day-to-day financial affairs
  • Consulting with project directors on survey procedures
  • Marketing the services of the Center
  • Preparing and submitting proposals on behalf of the Center
  • Other Associate Directors may be appointed to assume lead responsibility for particular Center activities or functional areas.