Former Gov. Tommy Thompson was appointed interim president of the UW System after the only finalist to replace the retiring Ray Cross pulled out of the process.

The appointment is effective July 1.

Thompson requested the minimum salary for a president of $489,334, according to the university.

University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen pulled out of the search to replace Ray Cross. A new search won’t start for at least a year, and Thompson will serve until a permanent appointment is named.

Since leaving the guv’s office in 2001 to serve as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary, Thompson has from time to time been raised as a possible candidate to lead the UW System. Under university policy, interim appointments are barred from seeking a full-time appointment unless they seek a waiver.

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