Nichols remembered for international role at UW

The late Donald Nichols, emeritus professor of economics and public affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, was “the catalyst for all our efforts to relate international studies to the state’s changing role in the global economy,” says David M. Trubek, Dean Emeritus of International Studies.

Nichols, who advised three Wisconsin governors and a president, died February 15 at the age of 72. He served as founding director of the Center for World Affairs and the Global Economy (WAGE), 1994- 2003 and as director of the La Follette School of Public Affairs, 2002-06.

“Don helped create WAGE and run it. He also was the force behind internationalization of La Follette. His status with state government and business lent legitimacy to the efforts of the International Institute, La Follette, and WAGE,” Trubek says. “He saw early on how international business was important for the state and helped International Studies and the professional schools equip themselves to help the state in this area.”

Nichols’ obituary notes he learned about the cultures of many nations early in his life by playing soccer with many recent immigrants around Milwaukee.

“The global perspective that Professor Nichols brought to campus has had a lasting impact,” says Guido A. Podesta, Interim Vice Provost and Dean of the Division of International Studies. “His contributions to the internationalization of UW–Madison represent an important legacy.”