Editorial: Looking at UW’s flawed presidential search

UW System
Courtesy UW System

MADISON, Wis. — It’s tempting to resist the urge to turn one’s attention away from the twin crises of coronavirus and racial virus as compelling as they are.

But we can’t lose sight of the rest of civic business being conducted in the midst of these crises and risk the consequences of doing so. And thus we ask how in the world did the University of Wisconsin System bungle the search for a new system president so badly. What are regents on the board thinking?

After rejecting legitimate requests for a more representative selection committee and then cloaking the process and the candidates in secrecy, the system this week presented exactly one candidate as a finalist for the job of replacing retiring UW System President Ray Cross. It’s hard to overstate the importance of this hire in light of the extraordinary challenges the UW is facing and will face in a changed world. We’re very concerned about where this search stands.