Mission, vision, and values

Our mission

We advance the empowerment of working people, labor organizations, and community partners through teaching, research, and service.

Our vision

We envision a just and equitable society, rooted in economic democracy, in which all workers have a meaningful impact in their workplaces and communities.

Our values

We are personally and professionally committed to help workers solve problems and realize opportunities in the workplace. We support efforts to raise living standards; increase employment security; improve health care and retirement security; secure safe and healthy workplaces; achieve due process, respect, and democracy in the workplace; and revitalize our economic and political institutions. We support unions and the collective bargaining process as essential means for the pursuit of these goals.

We are also committed to the broader socioeconomic goals of working people, including the enhancement of and tolerance for cultural diversity, the advancement of civil rights, the participation in labor organizations and other social institutions of under-represented and disadvantaged groups, the improvement of educational opportunities at all levels, the improvement of the environment and general quality of life, and the creation of meaningful employment opportunities for all workers. We seek to ensure that all workers—including ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities—have the opportunity to participate fully in our social, political, and economic institutions.

We are committed to a joint process of learning, critical analysis, and action in which we work together with our clients to improve the situation of the people of Wisconsin and the nation.

As an institution, the School for Workers has attained a strong reputation and enjoys very strong support from its clientele. The School is widely recognized as one of the best labor education programs in the nation. Because of our long history and past success, we have achieved a level of credibility that allows us to take risks in labor education programming. We recognize our responsibility to the School for Workers, our clients, and our colleagues to lead and innovate in the field of labor education.

The School for Workers will explore all new educational methods, techniques, and technologies that effectively extend new learning opportunities to our clientele.

Finally, the School is committed to a process of recruitment and faculty and staff development aimed at selecting and maintaining an outstanding faculty and staff capable of meeting the educational needs of our clients in the twenty-first century. We are determined to meet our goals, which include improved service to our constituency, active involvement in the development of progressive industrial relations policies, and the ability to respond to the changing education needs of our clients with agility and the highest concern for quality.

Engagement, inclusion, and diversity

Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison.

We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals.

Read the full Institutional Statement on Diversity here.