The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee officially welcomed its new chancellor, Mark Mone, during the inauguration ceremony Friday. Mone is UWM’s ninth chancellor, following Michael Lovell who served from 2011-2014.
In his inauguration address, Chancellor Mone said he’s ready to guide the university through its troubling future. He started by recognizing the community’s needs.
“Milwaukee (is often) on the map for the wrong reasons… We read the headlines about where the state ranks with entrepreneurism, infant mortality rates, the rate of incarceration of black males, or the income and achievement gap in our city.”
Chancellor Mone said he wants to bring forth change, beginning with UWM.
“You hear people say, gee, UWM is Milwaukee’s best kept secret. Does that bother you as much as it bothers me? It’s what motivates me to tell (our) story.”
Three substantial turning points make up UW-Milwaukee’s history:
- In 1922, regents discontinued a variety of courses and became a teaching institution to support the state’s high demand for teachers.
- In the 1940s, the college offered additional 4-year degrees to help millions of veterans enter and return to the workforce.
- In 1956, regents officially sanctioned the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a doctoral university.
With consideration of the state’s current educational budget cuts, Mone is gearing up for UWM’s fourth major turning point.
“Just as UWM has met past needs, there’s no doubt we will change again. When needs have arisen, UWM has delivered.”
State officials, university faculty, and successful alum briefly shared supportive words and congratulations.
“Mark lives up to our state’s motto: forward,” Sen. Tammy Baldwin said. She recalled first meeting Chancellor Mone at the grand opening of UWM’s freshwater science facility — the only freshwater science graduate program in the United States.
“At a time when our very experience has been threatened… in an era when higher education is so important, I can’t imagine a better leader for us during these times than Mark Mone,” said Chair of the University Staff Council Stan Yasaitis.
UW System President Ray Cross, who installed three UW chancellors in the last 30 days, couldn’t resist slipping in a joke. At the beginning of the installation, attendees watched a brief video of Chancellor Mone interacting with students in the Sandburg Cafe.
“Mark has done some interesting things…we all saw him steal that fry!”
Cross closed by saying, “In Chancellor Mark Mone, we have a leader who is committed in keeping our focus on the future.”
Chancellor Mone has been a member of UWM faculty since 1989.