While new UW Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank seems genuinely thrilled to be back on a college campus after five years in Washington DC, it seems clear to us her perspective on her new job extends well beyond Bascom Hall and environs.
In her first meeting with the WISC editorial board Blank emphasized building relationships around the state, indeed around the world, and yes that includes the building on the other end of State Street. Saying the UW has not done a good job of talking to the citizens of Wisconsin about the impact of the university on each of the lives she plans to visit communities around the state once a month including visits to other four year campuses. She also plans to strengthen Madison’s connection to Milwaukee.
Her time running the US Department of Commerce also appears to be reflected in her desire to pull together entrepreneurship efforts on campus and create a strategic plan for uses of technology in delivering education. All in the name of the stated goal of creating a campus on the cutting edge of innovation.
We are impressed and we wish her the best. The state depends on her success.