Chancellor of UW-Madison announces she's leaving to become first female president at Northwestern University

NOW: Chancellor of UW-Madison announces she’s leaving to become first female president at Northwestern University

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MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) -- UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced she will be leaving the university to assume the leadership of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois on Monday, Oct. 11.

Blank has served as chancellor since 2013 and is the second longest tenure at Big Ten institutions. 

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a statement Monday thanking Blank for her service to the state, the UW system, and Madison's campus. 

"Chancellor Blank is a distinguished leader and economist who has always been a fierce advocate for continuing UW-Madison’s proud tradition of excellence in research and innovation, especially in the midst of political headwinds and budget cuts during her time at the UW," Evers said.

Evers also said he is grateful for her leadership and wishes her the best in her new role.

“As we work to ensure our state’s continued economic recovery, supporting higher education and our UW System—including our campus in Madison—must be a top priority," Evers said. "I am confident the UW Board of Regents, in consultation with faculty, staff, and students, will select a chancellor who will be a strong voice for investing in our kids, continuing UW-Madison’s legacy as a top-tier research institution, and the pursuit of the Wisconsin Idea.”

The University of Wisconsin System Regent President Edmun Manydeeds III and President Tommy Thompson also issued statements in response to the announcement on Monday.

“Chancellor Blank is an extraordinary leader whose commitment to the Wisconsin Idea, including her efforts to expand the University’s outreach to every corner of the state, have UW-Madison well-positioned for success in the future," Manydeeds III said. "The impact of her leadership has been felt throughout the UW System and entire state, and she will be sorely missed. I appreciate that she will continue as chancellor through this academic year as we prepare for a transition and know she will continue her record of excellence at Northwestern.”

Thompson echoed those comments.

“The University of Wisconsin is one of the finest universities in the world, and Chancellor Blank’s tenacious advocacy and strong leadership have helped build on that legacy during her tenure," Thompson said. "On behalf of the University of Wisconsin System, I want to thank her for her service to our state and wish her well at Northwestern.”


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