APLU mourns the passing of University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Emerita Rebecca Blank, who served as Chair of the APLU Board of Directors from late 2021 until stepping down as UW-Madison Chancellor in 2022.
Blank was a visionary leader and big thinker whose impact and contributions to the public and land-grant university community endure. At UW, she skillfully steered the university through multiple rounds of cuts in state funding as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. She also spearheaded the creation of the Bucky’s Tuition Promise program, which eliminates four years of tuition and fees for in-state students from families that earn less than the state’s median household income.
An economist by training, Blank’s academic research focused on poverty and government policy. Prior to becoming chancellor, she served in Obama administration in a variety of roles, including as Acting Secretary of the Department of Commerce for more than a year.
Learn more about UW-Madison Chancellor Emerita Blank’s accomplishments and legacy on the University of Wisconsin’s remembrance page.