Kathleen Sell


Professor Emeritus

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 Kathi Sell retired in May, 2010 but continues to have an office in Meiklejohn house and to work with ILS students and alumni.  You may see her teach again in ILS in the future.  She thinks ILS students are exceptional, and keeps in contact with our young alums as they go out to profess in the world, whether they work in international literacy programs, as teachers, as corporate leaders, or as authors of well-received novels. A political philosopher, writer and speaker on higher education finance, senior affiliate of the Wisconsin Center for the Advancement of Postsecondary Education, and a former senior administrator in the UW System, Kathi incorporates a strong foundation in Western thinkers with examination of their relevance for contemporary issues, using case study exercises and role-playing in her interdisciplinary seminars on such topics as: “Classical Figures Grapple with Contemporary Controversies,” “Just War Theory and Terrorism,” and “What is Happiness?” In her seminars, students play Adam Smith and Plato, back from the dead as guests, in a Jon Stewart Daily Show or Colbert Report type of format, to grapple with applying their theories to current affairs. Kathi also teaches weekend and weeklong courses (on “The Great Books and Life Transitions” and on sustainability issues) around the U.S. for the Wisconsin Alumni Association. She is an avid vegetable gardener and cook. With her partner, she totally enjoys their four fascinating young grandchildren. She can continue to be reached at ksell@wisc.edu.