The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced the finalist candidates in the school’s search for chancellor to replace Rebecca Blank Wednesday. The five candidates announced by UW-Madison include Daniel A. Reed, Jennifer L. Mnookin, Ann E. Cudd, Marie Lynn Miranda and John Karl Scholz.
All candidates have several years of experience as administrative staff within large university systems and possess doctorates. Only one candidate, John Karl Sholz, has previous experience working for UW-Madison.
According to the UW, the search committee tasked with hiring the chancellor hopes to announce its decision sometime in May, with the new hire beginning in the fall semester of 2022.
Daniel A. Reed
Dan Reed, age 65, initially attended Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he earned his bachelor's degree in 1978 before studying at Purdue University where he obtained his masters and doctorate.
Reed is a former senior vice president for Academic Affairs from July 2018 until January 2022 at the University of Utah, where he currently serves as the presidential professor of Computational Science.
Reed also served as a faculty member at the University of Iowa where he was the university chair in Computational Science and Bioinformatics as well as a professor of Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Medicine. During his time at the University of Iowa, Reed also served as vice president for Research and Economic Development.
Outside of his involvement in academia, Reed held a position at Microsoft where he served as the corporate vice president for Technology Policy and Extreme Computing.
Jennifer L. Mnookin
Mnookin, age 55, attended Harvard University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in 1988 before studying at Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she obtained her masters and doctorate respectively.
Mnookin is the current dean of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) law school, which she was appointed to in 2015. She has been a faculty member of the UCLA School of Law since 2005 where she served as a professor, vice dean for Faculty and Research from 2007 to 2009 and vice dean for Faculty Recruitment and Intellectual Life in 2012-13.
According to the law school, during her time with the institution Mnookin has been an invaluable asset who has bolstered the university’s reputation and initiated several new academic programs.
“As dean she has worked to build upon UCLA Law’s reputation for excellence and access, and to support a collaborative and engaged environment among students, the school’s renowned faculty and its 17,000 alumni,” UCLA stated. “Initiatives she has spearheaded include the first alumnae leadership conference; new programs in human rights, criminal justice and immigration; and the expansion of clinical opportunities in areas ranging from veterans’ needs to documentary filmmaking.”
Prior to her involvement at UCLA Law, Mnookin was a professor of law and Barron F. Black Research Professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. and a visiting professor of law at Harvard Law School, as well.
Mnookin is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the board of trustees of the UCLA’s Law School Admission Council and serves on the board of directors of the UCLA Technology Development Group.
Mnookin serves on the advisory board of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in addition to the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Science, Technology and Law. She was a member of the steering committee of the Association of American Law Schools’ Deans Forum from 2016 to 2019.
Anne E. Cudd
Cudd currently serves as the provost and senior vice chancellor at the University of Pittsburgh which she was appointed to in 2018. From 2015 to 2018, Cudd was a professor of philosophy and the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University.
“Ann E. Cudd has primary responsibility for the University of Pittsburgh’s academic mission,” the University of Pittsburgh stated. “Her duties include supporting scholarly excellence among more than 4,600 full-time faculty members and student success among the university’s nearly 35,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students on all five Pitt campuses.”
In 2019, Cudd piloted the creation of the University’s Diversity Statement and announced the creation of the “Latinx Cluster Hire Initiative,” which aims to increase the number of faculty focused on Latinx issues throughout various departments and schools at the University of Pittsburgh.
The University of Pittsburgh commented on the diversity initiatives spearheaded by Cudd, stating that they have meaningfully contributed to improving the campus environment.
“Her plans to address access and affordability, as well as diversity and inclusion, have propelled the development of the new Pitt Success Program, a ground-breaking initiative to invest in both current students and prospective students with the greatest need across all five Pitt campuses,” said the university.
During her time in academia, Cudd has studied social and political philosophy, philosophy of economics, feminist theory and philosophy of social science — topics which she has co-authored two books about.
Marie Lynn Miranda
Miranda attended Duke University where she earned her undergraduate degree in mathematics in 1985. Miranda later went on to earn a masters and doctorate in economics at Harvard in 1990.
Miranda served as a provost at both Rice University and Notre Dame from 2015-2019 and 2020-2021, respectively.
According to Miranda, during her time in academia she has played a leading role in financial management and has also helped to facilitate initiatives designed to further on-campus diversity as well as pursue climate justice.
“[I have] led the strategic decision making and implementation of strategic choices for targeted university financial funding and investments. Another area of focus included ESG diversity and climate objectives related to faculty and students; and demonstrated leadership engagement with a broad group of key stakeholders,” Miranda stated on her LinkedIn.
According to the University of Notre Dame, during her time in academia Miranda has focused primarily on environmental issues that impact the health of community members, particularly children.
“Dr. Miranda specializes in research on environmental health, especially how the environment shapes health and wellbeing among children,” the University of Notre Dame said.
Miranda also served as a key member of faculty who contributed to several joint appointments and also won the university’s top learning award.
“Over 21 years, she rose from assistant professor to full professor in the Nicholas School of the Environment, with joint appointments in the Integrated Toxicology and Environmental Health Program, Department of Pediatrics and Duke Global Health Institute,” the university said’. “She also won the university’s top teaching award.”
Additionally, Miranda founded the Children’s Environmental Health Initiative to address health, educational and developmental outcomes for children globally.
Miranda also runs a farm with her husband where she tends to approximately 200,000 honeybees.
John Karl Scholz
Scholz has served as provost at UW-Madison since August 2019. He is the former dean of the College of Letters & Science, serving from 2013 to 2019.
Scholz attended Carleton College, earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics. In 1988, he earned a doctorate in economics from Stanford University.
Scholz has worked for the university for 33 years, first as the Nellie Gray Professor for Economic Policy in the department of economics. From 2000 to 2004, he was director of the university’s Institute for Research on Poverty.
According to the university, Scholz contributed to several areas of study and was published in acclaimed academic journals.
“Professor Scholz writes on diverse topics including household saving, the earned income tax credit and low-wage labor markets, financial barriers to higher education, and bankruptcy laws,” UW-Madison said s. “His research has appeared in leading economics journals, including The American Economic Review, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Political Economy and the Review of Economic Studies.”
Outside of his involvement at UW-Madison, Scholz also served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Tax Analysis at the U.S. Treasury Department from 1997 to 1998.