On Campus Wisconsin

New UW-System Initiative Aims to Tackle Community Challenges

Eau Claire is one of nine communities partnering with UW-Madison’s UniverCity Alliance

Laura Carew |

WORKING TOGETHER. Eau Claire County has been chosen to participate in the UniverCity program centered at UW-Madison. (Photo via UWEC's Facebook)

Eau Claire County has been chosen as one of nine communities in Wisconsin to work with UniverCity Alliance over the next three years. An initiative centered in UW-Madison, UniverCity strives to connect Wisconsin local governments with the resources to solve challenges in their communities.

“It’s a lot about exposure to the power of collaboration and partnership,” said Norb Kirk, Finance Director of Eau Claire County. He will be especially involved in the alliance between Eau Claire and the UW system that will see faculty, students, and staff working in tandem with the Eau Claire County government.

Several community-identified issues will be tackled through this initiative, including vehicle fleet management, energy and sustainability, and lake and river quality, to name a few of the largest. “These are three very distinct projects,” explained Kirk, “and (this partnership) will give us access to the entire UW system to help complete them.”

With big hopes to reach across the state and work to solve some of the community’s largest challenges, Kirk is excited to see what happens beyond this time with UniverCity. “This is definitely a turning point,” he said. “It’ll be a win for the county, and a win for the students and faculty involved.” The impacts of UniverCity in Eau Claire are sure to be long-lasting.

To learn more about UniverCity Alliance and their future plans, visit their website.