Author Profile

Aaron Brower | Executive Director of UW Extended Campus and Senior Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, University of Wisconsin System

Current Position and Past Experience
Aaron Brower is the Executive Director of the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus and Senior Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs with the University of Wisconsin System.

He took on these roles following the re-organization of the UW-Extension, for which he served as Provost and Vice Chancellor.

Brower helped create, and continues to lead, the UW Flexible Option - the competency-based educational program for the UW System and State of Wisconsin. UW Flex is the first-in-the-country program that provides students a way to receive degrees and certificates through competency-based and direct-assessment methods from existing public higher education institutions.

Prior to joining UW-Extension, Brower was UW-Madison's Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, where he was responsible for guiding and supporting undergraduate education and professional development. Brower remains a tenured professor at UW-Madison in the School of Social Work, and in the departments of Integrated Liberal Studies and Educational Leadership & Policy Analysis. He was the principal investigator for over $18 million in grants, and has written more than 50 articles on student learning, student life, and student success.

Brower's expertise is in educational innovations, project-based learning, student learning and outcome assessment – engaging the whole university on issues important to students and the people of Wisconsin. His work demonstrates that students’ academic and social outcomes are produced when college environments blend in- and out-of-class learning and experiences to create communities of students, faculty and staff who share common learning goals (i.e., learning communities). He has created and led many teaching and learning programs focused on integrative learning and evidence-based curricular reform, with an emphasis on high-impact learning practices.

Education, Honors and Achievements
Brower earned his BA in psychology, MSW, MA in psychology, and Ph.D. in social work and psychology from the University of Michigan. He is the recipient of several awards for his work, including named in 2006 as one of the nation’s Outstanding First-Year Student Advocates by Houghton Mifflin and the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience.

Brower writes a periodic series for Evolllution about competency-based education entitled "Navigating the CBE Frontier," which can be accessed below. He has also co-written numerous articles on The EvoLLLution, including Politics, Money and Public Higher Education: A Perfect Storm. "Politics, Money and Public Higher Education: A Perfect Storm" with David Schejbal and Rebecca Karoff, "The Evolution of the College Degree Toward Competency" with David Schejbal and "The Wisconsin Idea: Under Siege but Stronger Than Ever" with Jeffrey S. Russell and Katherine Cramer.

Please click here to learn more about the University of Wisconsin Extended Campus.