April 23, 2014

Blank outlines priorities for UW-Madison

Dr. Rebecca M. Blank is recommended as the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Dr. Rebecca M. Blank is recommended as the next chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

The incoming chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison says she’s looking forward to getting to work, although acting US Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank also acknowledges that many challenges face her at the state’s flagship campus.

A special committee earlier this month nominated Blank to serve as the UW-Madison’s next chancellor. The Board of Regents will vote to finalize her appointment on April 5th, but Blank says she’s already looking forward to becoming a Badger. She says “it’s just a first-rate university” with both enormous challenges and opportunities.

AUDIO: Rebecca Blank (:09)

Blank was in Brazil when the announcement of her appointment was made last week, but talked to reporters by phone on Friday. She says issues such as student tuition rates, recruiting first-rate faculty, and fundraising for the campus will be priorities on her agenda. Blank says she hopes to announce a number of initiatives dealing with those issues by the end of her first year on the job.

Blank is already getting a taste of what it’s like to be a fan of UW sports. She had the UW going all the way in the NCAA basketball tournament, and Friday’s loss to Mississippi ruined her brackets. Still, she offered the consolation that there’s going to be another year, and “we’ll do it again.”

If her appointment is approved by the Board of Regents next month, Blank says she hopes to relocate to Madison by mid-July.