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Counseling Psychology News

Blank recommended as next UW-Madison chancellor

March 18, 2013

UW System President Kevin Reilly is recommending that Rebecca Blank, the Acting U.S. Secretary of Commerce, become the next chancellor of UW-Madison.

Blank says in a University Communications news story that she sees the opportunity to become chancellor of UW-Madison as a return to her higher education roots.

“I am both delighted and honored to receive this offer and delighted and honored to accept it,” Blank says in the University Communications article. “Wisconsin is a world-class university, and the opportunity to provide leadership with first-class groups of staff and faculty is exciting.”

Rebecca BlankReilly and a special committee of the UW System Board of Regents announced their recommendation Monday.  The full Board of Regents is scheduled to vote on the recommendation April 5.

If confirmed, Blank will succeed Interim Chancellor David Ward, who has served since July 2011. Blank hopes to start in late July.

“Dr. Blank is uniquely prepared to lead UW-Madison, coming to us with broad national and international experience in roles where big science and big research intersect with job creation and commercialization,” Reilly says in a statement. “She also has a strong track record of educational innovation, having created interdisciplinary graduate programs, and a new undergraduate public policy major, at the University of Michigan.

“At a time when Governor Walker’s budget would reinvest in the UW System, putting our institutions in a position to step up in areas of workforce development and economic growth, Dr. Blank’s impressive skill set will be an invaluable addition to UW-Madison.”

President Barack Obama even weighed in on the announcement.

“I want to thank Dr. Blank for her hard work and exceptional service on behalf of the American people,” Obama says in a statement. “Over the past four years I have asked Becky to take on several roles at the Department of Commerce, and in each one she has distinguished herself as a steady leader and a vital member of my economic team.  A tireless advocate for American businesses, Becky has helped to increase our competitiveness, support our innovators and entrepreneurs, and bring good-paying jobs back to our shores.

“While I will be sad to see her go this summer, I want to wish her the best of luck in her exciting new role. I know the University of Wisconsin Badgers will have an outstanding chancellor for years to come.”

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