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UW chancellor Blank tests positive for COVID-19

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank(UW-Madison)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 11:30 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Less than two weeks before she is set to depart from the University of Wisconsin-Madison for good, outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Blank has tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a statement Wednesday from Blank, she tested positive this morning and her symptoms have been mild. Blank indicated she will work from home and has canceled her travel plans.

However, Blank pointed out that she has gone to multiple public events in the past few days. She urged anyone at those events who develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 to get tested and follow CDC guidelines.

Blank added that she is fully vaccinated and boosted.

The chancellor plans to step down at the end of the month after accepting a new position at Northwestern University.

On Monday, the UW System announced her successor, saying the dean of UCLA’s law school, Jennifer Mnookin, has accepted the position and will start in the fall. Her selection has already drawn fire from Republicans.

Dr. Jennifer Mnookin
Dr. Jennifer Mnookin(University of Wisconsin System)

Mnookin and Karen Walsh, who co-chaired the search process, responded to that criticism Tuesday and both said they were looking ahead.

“I look forward to arriving in Madison and looking for that common ground and I think that higher education is a place where I very much hope we can come together,” Mnookin said.

Walsh said she did not take the GOP critiques “very seriously.” She urged that Mnookin’s critics meet with the incoming chancellor before issuing threats to pull university funding.

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