UW-Madison chancellor calls political divide the greatest threat to public universities

Outgoing president Rebecca Blank highlights the discouraging drawdown of reserves and the fight over COVID-19 policies.

UW-Madison’s outgoing chancellor warned that the country’s bitter political polarization is “the greatest existential threat” to public universities.

In her farewell address to the UW Board of Regents Thursday, Rebecca Blank also took aim at state involvement in campus building projects, criticized some “one-size-fits-all” University of Wisconsin System policies and again called for raising in-state undergraduate tuition.

After nine years leading UW-Madison, Blank is leaving to become president of Northwestern University. Her last day at UW-Madison will be May 31.

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