A new year is an opportunity to look back on all that has transformed in 2022.
On the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, the past year brought a new chancellor, a record-breaking class of students and the removal of a nearly two-year long mask mandate. Get the recap in this round-up of changes to the university in 2022:
No more masks required
After nearly two academic years of required masking indoors on campus, UW-Madison got rid of its mandate in March, citing high vaccination rates. The move was criticized by some students and faculty, including the shared governance group Associated Students of Madison.
Rebecca Blank navigates final year as chancellor
Rebecca Blank, who served as UW-Madison’s chancellor for nine years, stepped down from the post in October 2021. Blank was set to become Northwestern University’s first woman president for the 2022-23 school year but resigned months before her start after receiving a cancer diagnosis in July. Her final year of ella in the university’s top leadership role was covered extensively by the Cap Times throughout 2022.
New chancellor Jennifer Mnookin steps in
Taking the place of Blank, UW-Madison’s new chancellor Jennifer Mnookin began the role in August. During a May public forum for the five finalists vying for the position, Mnookin said she would do more to ensure diversity, equity and inclusion at UW-Madison. A unanimous pick by the Board of Regents, the former UCLA Law School dean initially drew skepticism from state GOP leaders.
Record-breaking freshman class
UW-Madison ushered in the largest and most racially diverse freshman class in the institution’s history. Over 8,600 freshmen enrolled this fall. Despite the university offering nearly 3,000 fewer acceptance letters this year than the year prior, a greater percentage of those admitted chose to attend UW-Madison.
The freshman class was selected from a record 60,260 applicants, up 11.9% from 53,829 the year before. During September’s new student convocation, Chancellor Mnookin said it was “one of our most competitive years ever.”
UW-Madison features exhibit confronting history of exclusion
An educational exhibit highlighting UW-Madison’s history of exclusion and resistance opened in September at the Chazen Museum of Art. The “Sifting & Reckoning” gallery was a culmination of the university’s Public History Project, which confronts the challenges of marginalized communities on campus. The exhibit concluded on Dec. 23.
Campus gets naloxone kits to curb overdoses
In October, University Health Services and University Housing began installing overdose rescue boxes — called Nalox-ZONE — in residence and dining halls on campus. The boxes contain naloxone nasal spray, also commonly known by the brand name Narcan. The potentially life-saving medication helps reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids, including heroin, fentanyl and prescription pain relievers like oxycodone and morphine.
More money for student staff at Wisconsin Union, University Housing
Effective this fall, the Wisconsin Union and University Housing increased their starting wages for student hourly positions from $11 an hour to $15 an hour. Citing understaffing, University Housing spokesman Brendon Dybdahl said the raise would help fill much-needed jobs on campus.
Provost John Karl Scholz announces return to faculty
In November, John Karl Scholz announced he is stepping down from his position as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Scholz, who served as the chancellor’s No. 2 since 2019, will return to faculty by the end of the academic year in the Department of Economics. The university is launching a search to hire his successor, who will begin the role this summer.
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