Faculty, staff and student leaders at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are so enamored with their interim chancellor that they're urging his bosses to extend what was expected to be a one-year term in the post.
If the effort is successful it could require the UW System to delay a search for a permanent leader that was supposed to start within weeks.
David J. Ward stepped in as interim chancellor this summer after Biddy Martin resigned to become president of Amherst College this summer. Ward, who spent most of his career at UW-Madison and served as chancellor for seven years, led a national leadership group on higher education after stepping down as the head of the state's flagship university 2000.
The final months of Martin's tenure in Madison were turbulent as she led an unsuccessful effort to split UW-Madison from the oversight of the UW System and its Board of Regents. The state budget approved this summer gave all UW System campuses more freedom from state rules and red tape, but also imposed an 11% budget cut on all of the campuses, a cut considered deep by university leaders.