Vos rips UW-Madison chancellor choice

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 2:52 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The top Republican in the Wisconsin legislature blasted the University of Wisconsin System’s decision on who should lead its flagship university into the future.

Just hours after Dr. Jennifer Mnookin was announced as the next chancellor at UW-Madison, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a statement, decrying the Board of Regents’ unanimous choice as “blatant(ly) partisan.”

“We deserve campus leaders who will encourage healthy debate, diverse thoughts and freedom of expression,” Vos wrote. “Given her obvious viewpoints and political donations, Dr. Mnookin needs to prove she supports free speech on campus and not politically correct ideologies.”

Vos credited former Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson, in his role as UW System Interim President, and outgoing UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who came to UW from the Obama Administration, with building stronger relationships with the Legislature.

“This is a step backwards,” he said. “I strongly hope the Board of Regents will consider their selection.”

To back his claim that the UCLA Law School dean’s selection was partisan, Vos pointed to two issues where he argued her actions were not in line with GOP stances, critical race theory and vaccine mandates.

For the former, the Speaker linked to a pair of tweets, one of which was about a UCLA Law forum titled Critical Race Theory Under Attack, in which Mnookin served as a moderator and a tweet she made that included a link to a Critical Race Theory explainer written by her coworkers and posted onto Vox.

As to the latter assertion, Vos pointed toward an op-ed she wrote with a fellow UCLA Dean in Feb 2021 that argued vaccinations would be needed for the university to flourish in fall.

Vos also noted Mnookin was involved in UCLA’s consideration of Hunter Biden’s pitch to the university that he join the law school faculty. The conservative Daily Caller website printed an email she reportedly sent prior to passing along Biden’s email to someone else. The report did not indicate if Mnookin expressed support internally for bringing President Joe Biden’s son on board.

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