UW-Madison chancellor leaving to be Amherst prez

Losing the chancellor

“Does everything that’s occurred over the last year play a role? It would be foolhardy to say it played no role, but neither I nor anyone else could say exactly what role it played. It’s been incredibly interesting. I really love it here, I got my Ph.D. here, and I feel like I’m leaving this university in a position where it will continue to make great progress.”

Chancellor Carolyn “Biddy” Martin, who today announced she’ll be leaving the University of Wisconsin – Madison for the presidency of Amherst College in Massachusetts.

She’s gone through a lot. The New York Times sums it up:

For most of this year, Dr. Martin, 60, and her campus have occupied center stage in the nation’s raging, politically charged battles over higher education. In February, Wisconsin was roiled by the fight over the collective-bargaining rights of public employees, including those at the university. In March, a state Republican Party official sought the release of the e-mails of a tenured professor in Madison who had criticized both Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, and the party’s position on collective bargaining. And Dr. Martin and Governor Walker spent months on an unsuccessful effort to split Madison from the rest of the state’s higher-education system, giving it greater flexibility in an era of reduced state financing.