Statement of Chancellor-designate Biddy Martin on regent confirmation

June 5, 2008

University of Wisconsin–Madison Chancellor-designate Biddy Martin has issued the following statement regarding her confirmation by the Board of Regents as the campus’s next chief executive:

"I am honored by the Board of Regents’ confirmation of my appointment and thrilled to have this opportunity to return to a place where I have such significant academic and emotional connections.

"As chief academic and chief operating officer of the land-grant university for the state of New York, I am aware of UW–Madison’s responsibility to the citizens of the state of Wisconsin, and I am enthusiastic about doing our share — and more — to improve the quality of life for people throughout the state and beyond.

"UW-Madison is a world-class research university that prepares generation after generation of students to succeed in their chosen fields and contribute to the betterment of the world around them. Its faculty, staff, students and alumni generate solutions to some of the world’s most serious problems, including those in health care, agriculture, engineering and business. They also preserve, interpret and renew our cultural heritage and imagine our future.

"Universities have never played a more essential role than they do at this moment in our history, given rapid economic and social changes, transformations in the flow of information and the effects of a global knowledge economy. I look forward to the opportunity to work with Wisconsin citizens and their representatives to ensure that their families benefit from the preparation and the innovation that UW–Madison provides for this changing world.

"It is easy to say these things, of course. I realize that it will take hard work and a robust and honest partnership of UW–Madison, the UW System, the Legislature, the governor and the citizens of Wisconsin to make the promise of higher education a reality.

"There are numerous challenges for universities committed to the mission of delivering an affordable, world-class education while excelling at research and driving economic development. UW–Madison will be pursuing these goals at a time when the state and its citizens face a very serious need for a highly educated work force and new jobs.

"Our work will not be easy, but I believe we will be equal to the task if we work together and focus on the things that matter.

"I am eager to begin our work. I look forward to learning from the university’s many internal and external constituencies and to applying my energy and experience to the task of enhancing an already outstanding university and contributing to a proud, forward-looking and beautiful state."