University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson is president of the University of Wisconsin System. UW photo

MADISON — Edmund Manydeeds III, president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents, today appointed a 19-member Search and Screen Committee to help identify the next UW System President.

Tommy Thompson has been serving in an interim role since July 1, 2020. He replaced Ray Cross, who retired after a 42-year career in higher education, including serving as UW System President from February 2014 to June 2020.

Regent Vice President Karen Walsh will chair the Search and Screen Committee. Other members of the committee are:

  • Warren Anderson, Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, UW System
  • Robert Atwell, Regent
  • Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Regent
  • Johannes Britz, Provost, UW-Milwaukee
  • Michael Falbo, Regent President Emeritus
  • Deborah Ford, Chancellor, UW-Parkside
  • Rob Manzke, Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office, UW-Stevens Point
  • Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, Associate Professor of Biology, UW Oshkosh
  • Geoffrey Peterson, Professor of Political Science and American Indian Studies, UW-Eau Claire
  • Dr. Ashok Rai, Regent
  • Glendali Rodriguez, Interim Provost, UW-Stout
  • Corey Saffold, Regent and Student, UW-Whitewater
  • Paul Shain, Vice Chair, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and President/CEO, Singlewire Software, LLC
  • Jon Shelton, Associate Professor, and Chair, Democracy and Justice Studies, UW-Green Bay
  • Dennis Shields, Chancellor, UW-Platteville
  • Artanya Wesley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UW-Whitewater
  • Olivia Woodmansee, Regent Emeritus and Student, UW-La Crosse

“President Thompson has reminded us of the power of the Wisconsin Idea,” said Manydeeds. “We saw this during the height of the pandemic, when we opened campuses to community testing and vaccinations. Our next president should keep that focus while meeting the many challenges ahead.”

“We are grateful for the leadership of President Thompson, who provided exemplary guidance during the pandemic and has positioned us for future success,“ Walsh said. “I’ve often said that the next UW System president is watching us, and our progress during Covid-19 will no doubt be noticed by potential candidates.”

The committee is expected to convene in August, when Manydeeds will charge the committee with its mission, review search procedures, and begin the national search. The Committee will schedule listening sessions at UW System’s 13 universities in September, when additional faculty, staff, and students will be invited to participate.

A subcommittee will review the prospectus developed for the recent unsuccessful search with an eye toward identifying changes or additional information needed resulting from UW System’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Search and Screen Committee will engage the assistance of a national search firm to identify and screen candidates. The committee will determine and interview candidates; a Special Regent Committee to review finalists will be appointed later in the fall. The successful candidate will require the approval of the full Board of Regents.

The University of Wisconsin System is made up of two doctoral universities and 11 comprehensive four-year universities across 26 campuses, and a statewide extension network. One of the largest university systems of public higher education in the country, it educates approximately 165,000 students and awards nearly 37,000 degrees annually, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin and the country a better place to live. The UW System provides a 23 to 1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

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