MADISON, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin System issued these statements today after the announcement that UW-Madison Chancellor Emeritus Rebecca Blank has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer:

“Becky has contributed enormously to the success of UW-Madison and the University of Wisconsin System. We are grateful to have benefited from her leadership at UW-Madison. She is a champion for higher education and was positioned to finish her illustrious career at a university that was also close to her heart and home. While this is extraordinarily difficult news, anybody who knows Becky knows of her fight and resiliency. We will do whatever we can to support Becky through her treatment process and wish her the best as she begins treatment here at UW Health in Madison.”
—Jay Rothman, President, University of Wisconsin System

“We are greatly saddened to learn of Becky Blank’s diagnosis. She was an extraordinary leader here at UW-Madison whose passion and experience was poised to greatly benefit Northwestern University. Her voice and fierce advocacy for higher education is critical to all the work we do, and we will keep her in our thoughts during these trying personal times for her.”
—Karen Walsh, President, University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents


The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree – with a median salary of more than $66,000. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.