Heading back to the Emerald City this morning, so we’ll make this a quick one.
The UW Regents hired Jennifer Mnookin to be the next UW Madison chancellor. She’s currently the dean of the UCLA law school and she went to Harvard, Yale and MIT. All fine schools, but she has no ties to Wisconsin.
Republican legislators attacked the choice — made unanimously by the Regents which include both Democratic and Republican appointees — immediately. Speaker Robin Vos made vague accusations about Mnookin’s supposed California perspective on things. That sentiment was echoed by recently retired UW System President Tommy Thompson.
The YSDA take on this: Let the woman settle into her new home in University Heights and start screwing up before we lambast her. On paper, I tend to agree with Tommy that Provost John Karl Scholz looked like the best choice. He has been a professor, dean and provost over his three decades in Madison. He knows the place inside and out. It’s not clear what the Regents saw in Mnookin that would trump that, but they had a whole lot more data to go on than I do — or Thompson or Vos have.
And, as for Vos, gee, that guy sure is a fine judge of talent. Isn’t he the guy who hired that brilliant jurist Michael Gableman to “investigate” the non-existent fraud in the 2020 election? How’s that hire working out for us?
The Regents saw something in Mnookin that they thought was right for the Madison campus. Let’s give her a chance to demonstrate what it is.