MADISON -- University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents announced Friday, June 19 that former Governor Tommy Thompson has agreed to serve as UW System Interim President effective July 1.
“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. “No other institution in the state can do more to improve lives, communities, and Wisconsin’s economy.”
“Governor Thompson is a statesman who offers the kind of leadership the UW System needs right now,” said Andrew Petersen, University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents President. “I have witnessed his collaborative yet direct leadership style. He is perfectly suited to serve as Interim President.”
Born in Elroy, Wis., Thompson, 78, earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from UW-Madison. He was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1966 and became minority leader in 1981. He won election as governor in 1986 and won four terms, which makes him the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin history.
State Senator Alberta Darling issued the following statement:
"Tommy Thompson is a Wisconsin legend. He will be an outstanding leader for UW-System. His energy, experience, and willingness to listen to everyone will help move the System forward.
"Tommy led our state into prosperity. In these challenging times, we need a leader who can navigate the UW-System for the best outcomes for students, taxpayers, and our future. Tommy Thompson is the ideal choice to lead the system now.
"I applaud the Regents for selecting a proven leader who deeply cares about Wisconsin and its future. Tommy Thompson will be a great interim UW-System President."
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) President & CEO Kurt Bauer released the following statement:
“WMC and the business community applaud Gov. Thompson’s selection as interim UW System President. His service to Wisconsin is unmatched, and his leadership will be crucial in this unprecedented time. We look forward to continuing our great relationship with the state’s public universities and once again working in partnership with Gov. Thompson.”