UW-Milwaukee chancellor to step down

Mark Mone will return to role as professor next summer

Mark Mone speaking at a Technology Pathway Partners event earlier this year. Photo: Gateway Technical College (CC-BY-NC-ND).

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone announced Wednesday he will step down next year and return to his role as a business professor. 

He said serving as chancellor requires around-the-clock attention and has been as rewarding as it is challenging. 

Mone led the school through the global pandemic and managed ongoing legislative budget cuts and enrollment challenges.

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“At the end of our next academic year, I will have been chancellor for 11 years —twice the average tenure of college presidents today and longer than any of UWM’s chancellors, with the exception of our founding chancellor, J. Martin Klotsche,” Mone said in a statement. “With our momentum on many fronts, now is the right time.”

UWM did not make Mone available for an interview on Wednesday.

Prior to being named chancellor in December 2014, Mone was a professor of management in the Lubar School of Business. He has been part of the UW-Milwaukee faculty since 1989.

Mone said announcing his decision now allows for a smooth transition to a new leader. 

Under Mone’s tenure, the school opened the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex, Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center and the nearly completed chemistry building. 

Other campus facilities also had significant renovations, including the student union and the College of Engineering and Applied Science. 

UW-Milwaukee also is a founding member of M-Cubed, a partnership we with Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

Mone said he is proud of the employees who have worked hard to increase UW-Milwaukee’s status. 

“When I arrived at UWM in 1989, we were a mid-ranked R2 university,” he said. “Thanks to the steadfast work of my predecessors, administrators and our dedicated faculty, staff and students, we have achieved far more than what the dwindling state support could enable.”

The pro-Palestinian encampment on the UW-Milwaukee campus remains peaceful as of 11 a.m. on May 1, 2024. Margaret Faust/WPR

Mone came under fire in May from Jewish groups and Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman for a deal he struck with pro-Palestinian protestors to end an encampment on campus, which included a call for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Rothman called the agreement “disappointing,” and Mone later said he should not have weighed in on deeply complex geopolitical and historical issues.

On Wednesday, Rothman praised Mone for consistently elevating UW-Milwaukee and balancing the school’s dual role as a research and access university. 

“I am pleased that Mark will continue as chancellor for the current academic year and then return to the faculty,” Rothman said in a statement. “We owe Mark a debt of gratitude for his service and look forward to his future of ongoing service at UWM.”

Mone was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2020 and was later also diagnosed with thyroid cancer. His friend and colleague, Marquette University President Michael Lovell, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called sarcoma around the same time. Lovell died last month.