by Ali Beneker and Jared Gould
After naming Jennifer Mnookin the new Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW-Madison), the system’s Board of Regents is facing backlash from prominent Wisconsin lawmakers.
Rebecca Kleefisch, former Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin and current GOP gubernatorial frontrunner, tweeted on May 16 that the “decision to hire a woke radical like Dr. Mnookin is infuriating. Our universities need to focus on building a strong economy and workforce — not force-feeding liberal ideology to Wisconsin students.”
The Board of Regents' decision to hire a woke radical like Dr. Mnookin is infuriating. Our universities need to focus on building a strong economy and workforce — not force-feeding liberal ideology to Wisconsin students.
— Rebecca Kleefisch (@RebeccaforReal) May 16, 2022
State Assembly Speaker Robin Vos also released a statement claiming Dr. Mnookin’s appointment is a “blatant partisan selection.” He argues that her “obvious viewpoints and political donations” will require her to prove herself as someone who “supports free speech on campus and not politically correct ideologies.”
My @UCLA_Law colleagues @sandylocks & Laura Gomez contribute to this Vox explainer on critical race theory; Cheryl Harris contributed to an AP explainer earlier this week. I'm very proud of our excellent, 20-year old @UCLA Critical Race Studies program. https://t.co/oxtzeBfIva
— Jennifer Mnookin (@Jmnookin) July 2, 2021
UW-Madison student and chair of College Republicans Joe Krantz told Campus Reform that UW made a “partisan choice” that reflects the “radical leftist” ideologies of the administration.
Krantz also raised the concern that Mnookin will be out of touch with the people of Wisconsin because Mnookin has spent her professional life at Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Virginia School of Law, and the University of California, Las Angeles.
In a statement to Campus Reform, UW-Madison said, “Chancellor Mnookin is looking forward to meeting with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to introduce herself, have an open exchange of ideas and look for ways to find common ground and move the university and state forward.”
Criticism of Mnookin’s appointment comes in the wake of public condemnation of the UW Board of Regents’ decision to postpone a survey that would assess “Student Perceptions of Campus Free Speech, Viewpoint Diversity, and Self-Censorship,” which Campus Reform reported on earlier this year.
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Ali Beneker is a Wisconsin Campus Correspondent for Campus Reform. She is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Economics and Journalism. The Digital Director for the Wisconsin Federation of College Republicans, Ali is also a chapter officer for the UW-Madison College Republicans and involved in the Wisconsin Speech and Debate Society, Young Americans for Freedom, and the Republican Party of Wisconsin.
Jared Gould serves as News Editor at Campus Reform. Prior to joining our team, Jared worked with former Governor Phil Bryant at Bryant Songy Snell Global Partners, a private government relations and business consulting firm in Ridgeland, Mississippi. He also previously worked in the Office of Governor Phil Bryant and The Faith & Politics Institute in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi.
Photo “Jennifer Mnookin” by UCLA School of Law.