MADISON, Wis. - Four out-of-state candidates are finalists to become the new chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported ( Friday the finalists are acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank; Kim Wilcox, outgoing provost at Michigan State University; University of Chicago law school dean Michael Schill; and Johns Hopkins University engineering school dean Nicholas Jones.

Before joining the commerce department, Blank had been an economist at the Brookings Institution, dean of University of Michigan's public policy school and an economics professor at Northwestern University. She was also an economic adviser to former President Bill Clinton.

Wilcox has been Michigan State University's provost since 2005, and before that was dean of University of Kansas's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and chairman of the school's speech-language-hearing department. He is currently working with the nonprofit Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa.

Schill was the dean of UCLA's law school for five years before joining the University of Chicago in 2009. He has taught law at New York University and the University of Pennsylvania, and is considered an expert in real estate and housing policy, among other things.

Jones was a civil engineering professor at Johns Hopkins University before becoming the school's dean. He also was the dean of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's civil and environmental engineering department for two years.

The finalists were decided by 25-member committee chaired by a UW-Madison history professor.

Each one will meet with students, faculty and staff throughout March. The final pick will come from a vote in April.

David Ward is the University's current interim chancellor.