Skip to main content

Lynch selected as vice chancellor for legal affairs

May 24, 2021 By Greg Bump

Nancy Lynch has been selected as vice chancellor for legal affairs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, succeeding Raymond Taffora as the chief legal officer of the university and leading the university’s Office of Legal Affairs and Office of Compliance.

“UW–Madison is fortunate to have someone with Nancy’s depth of knowledge to step into this role. She understands the issues at this institution, and the many complex legal issues top research universities encounter,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank.

Studio portrait of Nancy Lynch

Nancy Lynch

“We must be agile and responsive to the challenges UW–Madison will face post-pandemic. I have confidence Nancy will provide excellent leadership as we advance the educational, research and outreach missions of the university.”

Lynch joined the Office of Legal Affairs in 1997 and has served as deputy to the vice chancellor since 2013. A native of Stitzer, Wisconsin, she earned a B.A. in journalism with distinction from UW–Madison and graduated cum laude from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Taffora, who was appointed by Chancellor Blank in September 2013, announced his retirement plans earlier this year. Lynch is expected to assume her new duties on Aug. 1.

“I’d like to thank Ray for his stellar leadership and counsel over his nearly eight years at the university,” Blank says. “He has been a trusted advisor to me and many others on campus. I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Lynch has contributed to a wide range of campus policy groups, including internal coordination, campus safety, alcohol and other drugs, and IT policy and incident response, and coordination with UW System.

“I’m honored to continue serving UW–Madison through this incredible opportunity and to lead a strong team of attorneys and compliance professionals in helping the university address key challenges on the horizon,” Lynch says.

“I look forward to building on the office’s success in providing legal and compliance support for the university.  We are in a time of change and need to be proactive in tailoring assistance to the groups that need our help.”

Prior to her role at the university, Lynch was an attorney in the business litigation practice group at the Chicago firm Lord, Bissell and Brook (now Locke Lord LLP).

The vice chancellor for legal affairs search committee was led by Mark Sidel, Doyle-Bascom professor of law and public affairs in the UW Law School. Academic Search, Inc. assisted the university in the search.

“I’d like to thank the members of the committee for their dedication and hard work on this search,” says Sidel. “The committee reviewed an exceptionally strong group of candidates for the position. Ms. Lynch’s breadth and depth of experience and her familiarity with the legal, compliance and other issues facing this university and other major research universities made her stand out among a group of truly excellent candidates.”

The vice chancellor for legal affairs is the chief legal officer of the university. Reporting to the chancellor, the vice chancellor serves as senior counselor to the chancellor and senior university officials and is a member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team.

The vice chancellor supervises UW–Madison’s Office of Legal Affairs and the Office of Compliance (OC), which oversees the university’s compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, Title IX, HIPAA Privacy and the Wisconsin Public Records Law. OC also conducts investigations into violations of the university’s obligations under Title IX and Titles VI and VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964.