The University of Wisconsin in Madison has its next chancellor. Jennifer Mnookin is the unanimous choice of the UW System Board of Regents.
“I’m ready to pour my energy into amplifying the Wisconsin Idea, sharing the great work done on this campus, and how it makes a meaningful and tangible difference in the lives of people throughout all of Wisconsin and well beyond.”
Welcome to Wisconsin, Chancellor Mnookin! pic.twitter.com/LgfC7ZGTPb
— UW–Madison (@UWMadison) May 16, 2022
Mnookin is Dean of the UCLA law school in Los Angeles. Mnookin has a long history has an educator. She’s been a professor at UCLA since 2005, and before that, taught law at the University of Virginia, and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law School.
Mnookin becomes UW Madison’s 30th chancellor, after Rebecca Blank’s departure to Northwestern. Blank’s last day is on May 31. Provost John Karl Scholz will serve as interim chancellor until Mnookin starts in August.
Mnookin will have to win over Republican legislators. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Monday called the Regents’ unanimous pick of the UCLA Law School Dean a “blatant partisan selection.” Vos said Mnookin is a supporter critical race theory and campus vaccine mandates.
State Senator Steve Nass, Vice Chair of the Senate Universities and Technical Colleges Committee, calls Mnookin a “West Coast liberal.” Both lawmakers also pointed out that Mnookin met with Hunter Biden in 2019 and supported having him join the UCLA faculty to teach drug policy.
In a statement to WisPolitics, Mnookin said she hasn’t had an opportunity to meet Vos yet but look forward to doing so, and that she plans to work with all legislators regardless of party to move the university and Wisconsin forward.