Carolyn A. (Biddy) Martin, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, is leaving the public flagship campus to become president of Amherst College, where she will begin her tenure at the end of August, the two institutions announced today. Ms. Martin, who has led Madison since 2008, is leaving after a particularly contentious year for her campus and for higher education in the Wisconsin state capital, where thousands of protesters gathered this winter to fight Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to strip the collective-bargaining rights of University of Wisconsin faculty and staff members, among other public employees. At the same time, Ms. Martin, with the support of the governor, a Republican, aggressively sought to break the Madison campus away from the rest of the University of Wisconsin system, a plan that was met with great resistance from system leaders and that ultimately failed in the Legislature.
(Update: See a later report with more information on Chancellor Martin’s decision.)