This week, University of Wisconsin-Madison students were shocked to learn via Twitter that Chancellor Becky Blank has decided to leave the university at the end of the academic year to become the president of Northwestern University. While her tenure has seen an increase in graduation rates and a historic high of underrepresented students in this year’s freshman class, she is best known among students as the most prime meme material on campus.
The original tweet and accompanying statement from the university solely reflected on Blank’s time and achievements since she became chancellor in 2013, but it seems that the events surrounding the announcement were not so cut-and-dry.
There were numerous reports of Northwestern mascot Willie the Wildcat on campus early last week. Originally thought to be a visit to speak with Bucky about the upcoming football game between the two universities on Nov. 13, it appears that Willie organized this meeting as a front to spend time one-on-one with Blank.
A source close to the situation says that Willie and Becky Blank had been in frequent contact since she left her job as a professor at the university in 1999. The pair recently decided that they couldn’t take the distance anymore, leading Willie to scamper 145 miles from Evanston to the UW campus.
A witness says that events came to a head late last Tuesday night.
“I was walking down the street for some pre-bedtime Kwik Trip, as you do,” said the witness. “I was passing by Camp Randall and couldn’t help but notice this strange sound coming from near the bushes across the street — it was a sort of feral meow. I decided to take a closer look and saw Becky scratching behind Willie’s ear; I felt like it was inappropriate to keep watching, so I left pretty quickly. I was just thinking, ‘get a room you two.’”
On the way back to their apartment, another witness said that they saw Bucky speaking to Becky under the Camp Randall Memorial Arch, with Willie lurking close behind. At this point, the source pulled out their phone to record the conversation.
“I catch you scratching behind this cat’s ear, meanwhile, you haven’t so much as gently patted the top of my head for months,” Bucky lamented. “And to make matters worse, you’re doing this in my own home — my happy place. What’s next, feeding him Meow Mix by hand on the 50-yard line? It’s unacceptable, Rebecca.”
Bucky was then heard telling the chancellor that he wants an amicable separation for the sake of the students, saying that unlike Becky, he loves the students “like they’re his own cubs.” Becky agreed without hesitation.
“You couldn’t have paid me enough to stay. It’s not about money. I need a new challenge; I need something to fix. Willie and I are going to Evanston together as soon as the spring semester is over, and I’m not coming back.”
As seen on Camp Randall security footage, Bucky then returned to the stadium to call the owners of the cows that Becky had bullied over the years, a reoccurring event first covered by The Daily Cardinal in last week’s Almanac section, to give them the good news.
At the time of publication, it was determined that Northwestern is, in fact, paying Becky Blank enough to stay, indicating that it may be a little bit about the money.