UW-Madison announces $175M investment for computer, data sciences building

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin–Madison, with the help of two of the university’s largest donors, is making a major investment in the future of computer and data sciences.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank and other university leaders announced Friday a $175 million investment paired with an effort to raise $50 million more to put toward a brand new facility for the university’s School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences.

The money will be used to build a 300,000 square-foot building for the school located across from Union South and next to the Discovery Building on Orchard Street.

“The School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences is a place where our faculty and students will shape the way technology influences and enriches our lives,” UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said. “This is an investment that is central to the future of the university, as these fields are infusing and changing all other academic disciplines.”

The donation from John and Tashia Morgridge, two UW-Madison graduates who have donated to other major university projects in the past, will be paired with $50 million in funding from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

John Morgridge currently works as CEO and chairman of the board of Cisco Systems.

“This is an investment in UW–Madison and the state of Wisconsin that will help secure their place in our shared future,” Morgridge said. “Tashia and I hope our commitment will inspire others to see the transformative potential of this project and help get it over the finish line.”

FROM 2010: Officials celebrate grand opening of Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery

University leaders said the private donations will speed up construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2023 and wrap up by the end of 2024.

According to a news release from the university, the new building is designed to be the most sustainable building on campus.

CDIS, which launched in 2019, hosts more than 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students studying topics like software design, robotics, machine learning, cybersecurity and more. The school’s computer science major grew from 200 students to 2,000 in the past decade.