The University of Wisconsin–Extension (UW–Extension) is the outreach arm of the University of Wisconsin System. It provides statewide access to university system's resources and research to Wisconsin residents of all ages. Fulfilling the promise of the Wisconsin Idea, UW–Extension extends the boundaries of the university to the boundaries of the state through its four divisions of Cooperative Extension, Continuing and Online Education, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Public Broadcasting. It was created as a division of UW-Madison in 1907, and took its current form in 1965.
With offices in all 72 Wisconsin counties, on four UW campuses, and in three tribal nations, the Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Division works with local, state, and federal partners to provide educational programs in six areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Community, Natural Resources and Economic Development]; Family Living; 4-H Youth Development; Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey; and Leadership Wisconsin.
The Division of Continuing and Online Education, offers credit, noncredit, professional development, and personal enrichment programs through the 26 UW System campuses and online courses and programs throughout the world. The online Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable management was added in 2009 in partnership with UW-Parkside, UW-River Falls, UW-Stout, and UW-Superior.
The Division of Business and Entrepreneurship is a UW-Extension business resource group organized as a collection of affiliated yet independent business support centers and initiatives. The educational, consulting, and research services focus on improving the overall quality of Wisconsin business startups and developing high-potential companies.
The Division of Public Broadcasting is responsible for Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, and provides interactive audio, video, and digital media for education and communications.
Cathy Sandeen, the chancellor of UW–Extension, also serves as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges, the freshman/sophomore campuses of the UW System, although the UW Colleges and UW-Extension are separate institutions. Aaron Brower is the Provost and Vice Chancellor of UW-Extension. The main office is located at 432 N. Lake Street, Madison.
On November 9, 2017, the UW Board of Regents voted to proceed with a proposal that would split UW-Extension's divisions between UW-Madison and the University of Wisconsin System administration. The Cooperative Extension Division and the Conference Centers would become part of UW-Madison, while the system administration would take over the Division of Business and Entrepreneurship, Division of Public Broadcasting, and Division of Continuing and Online Education. 
- "UW Regents Approve Merging System Campuses". Wisconsin Public Radio. November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 24, 2017.
- Apps, Jerry (2002). The People Came First: A History of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Epsilon Sigma Phi Alpha Sigma Chapter.
- Hall, William L. (July 1914). "A College For Retail Clerks: The First Attempt To Give Practical Education To The Third Largest Calling". The World's Work: A History of Our Time. XLIV (2): 345–351. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- Rasmussen, Wayne D. (1989). Taking the University To The People: Seventy-five Years of Cooperative Extension. Ames: Iowa State University Press.
- Somersan, Ayse (1997). Distinguished Service: University of Wisconsin Faculty and Staff Helping to Build Organizations in the State. Friendship, Wis.: New Past Press.
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