We join those acknowledging and praising Kevin Reilly’s important contributions to our state as president of the University of Wisconsin System. Those accomplishments are all the more impressive for the difficult times in which they occurred including the historically difficult recession.
But it is also true that Reilly’s tenure coincided with a period of political partisanship and infighting that included turning education – at every level – into a political football, that saw a common vision for public education replaced by political ideology. And that is the environment in which Reilly’s successor will need to operate. And thus it is imperative we find the right person for that task.
It is obviously a time of unprecedented change in American education. But it is also a time ripe for innovation and fresh thinking. The UW System is one of our state’s greatest assets. Its next leader must be globally fluent, politically savvy, and committed to the best interests of Wisconsin citizens, thus building on a foundation Reilly helped maintain.