MADISON- Today, UW System Board of Regents President Andrew Petersen announced that former Governor Tommy G. Thompson will serve as University of Wisconsin System Interim President beginning July 1. This announcement comes after the sole finalist for that role recommended by the search and screen committee withdrew from consideration late last week.

Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) issued the following response:

“A week ago, the sole finalist for UW System President dropped out of consideration, citing the flawed search and screen committee process. Thousands of shared governance stakeholders across Wisconsin critiqued the process for months. The committee has already spent over $200,000 in consultant fees and other expenses, and now a new search process won’t begin for at least a year.

“In the interim, I encourage Tommy Thompson to take a close look at the failed search and learn from the unforced errors that led us here. He can and should use this opportunity to reach out to faculty, staff, and students, visit campuses, and hear directly from the stakeholders who most need and deserve strong leadership.

“The UW System is facing inordinate challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We need a champion who won’t submit feeble budget requests and who will vociferously advocate for funding and support for our campuses and all who work and study there. I call on Interim President Tommy Thompson to meet with shared governance stakeholders, reach out to legislators, and do everything possible to steady and support the UW System as it faces an uncertain future. Together, we must ensure that the next search and screen process finds the best possible leader to meet this moment.”

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