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New UW-Madison leader deflects questions about GOP critics


New University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin is trying to stay out of the bitter political fight over her hire.

Mnookin addressed Wisconsin reporters for the first time via Zoom from her office at UCLA's law school on Tuesday.

Asked repeatedly for her reaction to Republican critics painting her as a liberal and GOP threats to restrict UW's funding if she remains chancellor, she said only that she's willing to talk to anyone.

Regents announced they had hired Mnookin to succeed Rebecca Blank on Monday.

Republicans immediately attacked her for donating to Democratic candidates and for supporting critical race theory and COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

One Republican senator threatened to freeze UW tuition and state aid if she remains chancellor.

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