Former Wisconsin Governor Named UW System Interim President

June 22, 2020

Former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson will serve as the University of Wisconsin system’s interim president. Andrew Petersen, president of the system’s Board of Regents, announced the news Friday.

“The University of Wisconsin System is the state’s most valuable asset, and I will be its biggest advocate and its toughest evaluator,” Thompson said in a press release. “No other institution in the state can do more to improve lives, communities, and Wisconsin’s economy.”

The announcement follows the breakdown of the system’s search for a new president after University of Alaska system president Jim Johnsen withdrew his candidacy in the final stages, leaving the system with no other candidates.

Thompson was the state’s only four-term governor, first elected in 1986. He also served as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services under President George W. Bush. Current system president Ray Cross steps down from his post on June 30 and will remain a consultant for the system for 90 days.

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