Less than two months after letting pro-Hamas protesters disrupt campus life and harass Jewish students, UWM Chancellor Mark Mone has announced his intentions to step down, in a year.

Earlier today he posted this message on the UWM website.

Chancellor Mark Mone shared the following message to UWM students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members on July 3, 2024.

I write to share that, after careful thought and discussion with my family and close colleagues, I have decided to step down from my role as chancellor and return to my professorship with the Lubar College of Business effective July 1, 2025. This timing allows for a smooth transition to a new leader.

Being your chancellor is as rewarding as it is challenging, and it’s a role that requires round-the-clock attention. 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. With our momentum on many fronts, now is the right time.

We have accomplished so many remarkable things together while weathering the strongest of headwinds. Just some of our recognitions include our Carnegie R1 status in 2016, the Carnegie Community Engaged University designation in 2015, APLU’s Innovation and Economic Prosperity designation in 2019, and the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Award in 2016.

We received record philanthropic support this and last year, including the largest gift in UWM’s history, and set other records in our last campaign. We have achieved remarkable capital and operational successes with the opening of the Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, Kenwood Interdisciplinary Research Complex, Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Center, and the nearly completed Chemistry building. Many other facilities have seen significant renovations, including the UWM Student Union and the College of Engineering and Applied Science. After a decade of strong fiscal management, our fiscal year 2025 budget is balanced, and our 10-year Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation last year was remarkably positive.

We also have withstood a global pandemic and managed ongoing budget cuts and enrollment challenges, all while creating vital and novel partnerships in data science, connected systems, health care, water and more. I must also note UWM’s founding role in the Higher Education Regional Alliance, which includes 17 public and private higher education and 10 community partners, to ensure student success and a talent pipeline in greater Milwaukee. UWM also is a founding member of M-Cubed, the partnership we began in 2015 with Milwaukee Public Schools and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

These accomplishments have resulted in transforming the lives of thousands of students whose futures are forever brighter because of you. I am exceptionally proud of the impact on our graduates – where they go and what they become. And I am grateful for the knowledge and innovation that our research university creates.

I’m also very proud of all our employees, who have given so much to make UWM what it is today. When I arrived at UWM in 1989, we were a mid-ranked R2 university. 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. We should all feel gratified about what we have accomplished together and with our community support.

It will be no surprise that I am committed to finishing strong. We are launching new partnerships with area technical colleges, Microsoft, Titletown Tech and others. We’re advancing a philanthropic focused initiative with an emphasis on student success, and have made great progress on the construction of the new research vessel, Maggi Sue. We’re strengthening community relationships and preparing our campus for a vibrant future. We will continue our path of fiscal management and prepare the campus for my successor.

I deeply appreciate the tremendous support you have provided in good times and throughout the challenges. I highly value how much you care, which is a hallmark of the spirit of UWM. Thank you for the privilege of serving as chancellor of this important institution.

Best regards,

Mark A. Mone, PhD

After the pro-Hamas encampment debacle, wherein he traded peace on campus for a statement of political support for the demands of the protesters, Mone was the subject of harsh criticism from students, alumni and Milwaukee’s Jewish Community.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Chancellor Mark Mone capitulated to protesters who violated UWM codes of conduct and state law, vandalized university property, and used harassment and intimidation to fuel antisemitism on campus. The agreement is among the most offensive and dangerous of any university agreement reached with encampment protesters over the last two weeks.

— Hillel Milwaukee, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) Midwest Statement 5.14.24

He attempted to calm the waters by issuing an apology in late May.

It read, in part:

It is clear to me that UWM should not have weighed in on deeply complex geopolitical and historical issues. And for that, I apologize. I acknowledge that it is an increasingly difficult time for many Jewish students at UWM and across America. I’ve also heard that some students have not felt comfortable reporting their concerns or experiences. This distresses me. The expressions of grief and frustration over the conflict in the Middle East must not destabilize our shared sense of humanity or be twisted into a platform to spread hatred. 

Let me be clear: UWM resolutely condemns antisemitism, just as we do Islamophobia and all other forms of hatred. Our campus must be a place that welcomes all students and the full expression of their history, culture, identity and ethnicity. But words alone cannot create the culture of inclusion we desire, which is why we must transform our words into commitment and action. This work will take time, as all hard work does, and it will also take the openness of our entire community. 

As we move forward, I am dedicated to continued listening, conversation and engagement with all our students. I recognize that students must first trust that we can better support them before they can feel comfortable sharing their concerns. 

Apparently, the apology was not well received.

We’ll have more on this story as it develops