With the goals of advancing data science and technology education and strengthening the talent pool in Milwaukee, Northwestern Mutual and its foundation will commit $15 million over five years in support of an endowed professorship at each university, as well as research projects, the development of expanded curricula, K-12 STEM learning opportunities, and pre-college programming. For their part, the universities will invest more than $12 million each in data science education and research by existing data science faculty. Planning for the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, including the hiring of interim co-directors, will begin this summer, with classes to begin in the 2019-20 academic year.
Northwestern Mutual also will provide classroom and office space to Cream City Labs, the company's new innovation lab, which is scheduled to open in the fall, while its data science leaders will partner with the universities on teaching opportunities, mentoring and internship programs, and curriculum design.
"A looming talent shortage and global competition demand that we make intelligent decisions that are driven by the plethora of data available to us all," said UWM chancellor Mark Mone. "This is easier said than done. Working together will draw us closer to building a region that is rich in technological and analytical expertise and attracts new and strengthens existing organizations and industries while enriching our communities."