2023 Senate Joint Resolution 18
Relating to: honoring the life and public service of Dr. Rebecca M. Blank.
Whereas, Dr. Rebecca Blank dedicated her career and life to public service, specializing in the study of poverty, low-income labor markets, macroeconomics, and government policy; and
Whereas, Dr. Rebecca Blank achieved impressive heights in her own education, graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Economics and earning her PhD in Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and
Whereas, Dr. Rebecca Blank served in government roles as a senior staff member on the Council of Economic Advisers during the George H. W. Bush presidential administration, as a member of the council during the Bill Clinton presidential administration, and as deputy and acting secretary in the U.S. Department of Commerce in the administration of President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013; and
Whereas, Dr. Rebecca Blank accomplished a distinguished career in academia, holding faculty positions at Princeton University and Northwestern University, serving as dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and leading the University of Wisconsin-Madison as Chancellor from 2013 to 2022; and
Whereas, during her tenure at UW, Dr. Rebecca Blank built a lasting legacy as a champion for equitable access to education, removing structural barriers to academic success by ensuring that first-generation college students have an equal opportunity for the attainment of higher education through Bucky's Tuition Promise; and
Whereas, Dr. Rebecca Blank strongly supported UW's Institute for Research on Poverty and forged a path toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at UW-Madison; and
Whereas, in response to rising racial injustice, Dr. Rebecca Blank commissioned a report on UW's legacy of exclusion, which highlighted the contributions of marginalized change-makers and led to the Public History Project of 2019 that culminated in the fall 2022 exhibition at the Chazen Museum of Art and a permanent online archive; and
Whereas, UW-Madison named its Public History Project center in Dr. Rebecca Blank's honor and endowed a professorship in her name; and
Whereas, decorated economist and educator Dr. Rebecca Blank passed away on February 17th, 2023, at the age of 67, survived by her husband and daughter, Hanns and Emily Kuttner, after leading a life of excellent leadership, scholarship, and service; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin Legislature does hereby honor the life and public service of Dr. Rebecca M. Blank.