Regents select UCLA law school dean to lead UW-Madison | Wisconsin News

By TODD RICHMOND, Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The dean of UCLA law school has been chosen as the next principal of the University of Wisconsin’s flagship campus in Madison, the university system’s regents announced Monday.

Jennifer Mnookin has been chosen to succeed outgoing Chancellor Rebecca Blank, the Regents have said. Mnookin holds a law degree from Yale and has served as dean of UCLA Law School since 2015. She also served as a professor of law at the University of Virginia.

Mnookin beat out four other finalists for the job, including UW-Madison Provost John Scholz; Ann Cudd, president of the University of Pittsburgh and professor of philosophy; Marie Lynn Miranda, professor of statistics at Notre-Dame; and Daniel Reed, professor of computer science at the University of Utah and former provost.

Mnookin said in a press release issued by UW-Madison that she believes lawyers are uniquely positioned to be leaders.

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“Lawyers need to listen carefully,” she said. “They have to think strategically. They are, fundamentally, trained to solve problems and sometimes have to persuade people who don’t necessarily see the world as they see it. They must also be willing to engage across differences and think seriously about alternative points of view. I think these are qualities that I will bring to this role as Chancellor.

Mnookin will begin work at UW-Madison on August 4. She will earn $750,000 a year, UW System spokesman Mark Pitsch said.

Blank earned $618,278 a year. She is expected to step down as chancellor on May 31 to take over as president of Northwestern University. The regents said on Monday that Scholz would serve as chancellor before Mnookin arrives in August.

Mnookin’s husband, Joshua Foa Dienstang, is a professor of political science and law at UCLA. He will accompany his wife to Madison and plans to join the UW-Madison faculty.

Pitsch did not immediately respond to an email asking about her specific role and salary and whether Mnookin’s acceptance of the chancellorship was contingent on her husband being hired by UW. UW-Madison spokesman John Lucas said he will try to find answers to those questions.

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Jon J. Epps