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New chancellor arrives at UW-Madison

MADISON (WSAU-Wheeler News)   U-W Madison’s new chancellor says one of her main goals is to create a tuition policy that’s fair for students, while raising faculty pay to keep the best from leaving.

Rebecca Blank spent her first day on campus yesterday. The former acting U-S Commerce Secretary said a few months ago she was tired of Washington politics. Now, she’s entering a whole new political firestorm stirred by the recent report that the U-W built up millions-of-dollars in surpluses. Lawmakers were surprised, and they responded by freezing the U-W’s tuition for two years. Blank said she had “some sympathy” for politicians who felt they were kept in the dark. Still, Blank said she’s not worried that she won’t be able to work effectively with the state government and its bureaucracy.

During her first six months, Blank says she’ll listen to all types of campus groups, while building relationships among both parties at the Capitol. Blank said Madison needs to be a place that everyone in Wisconsin can afford – but she said tuition is on the “cheaper end” for out-of-state and graduate students. And in her words, “I see no reason to sell a university this good at that price.”

Blank also vowed to expand the U-W’s support for donors, which includes an upcoming campaign. Blank replaces David Ward, who spent two years as an interim chancellor after Biddy Martin left.