MADISON, Wis.—Incoming University of Wisconsin System President Governor Tommy Thompson announced today former Assembly Speaker, Ambassador to Norway, and UW System Board of Regents member Tom Loftus and former Department of Administration (DOA) Secretary Scott Neitzel will co-chair his transition team.

Thompson has directed Loftus, a Democrat, and Neitzel, a Republican, to prepare background and information reports about the UW System and UW System Administration prior to his taking office July 1.

“I plan to hit the ground running,” Thompson said. “Tom Loftus and Scott Neitzel bring experience, expertise, and genuine, humble leadership to my transition team. Working together, we will move the UW forward for our students, faculty, and staff, and for the state of Wisconsin.”

The transition team will meet for the first time June 25.

Loftus was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1976 and served as speaker from 1983 to 1991. President Bill Clinton appointed him Ambassador to Norway, a role he served in from 1993 to 1997. In 2005, Gov. Jim Doyle named Loftus to the Board of Regents for a six-year term. Loftus earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Whitewater and a master’s degree from UW-Madison. He has taught several classes within the UW System.

Neitzel was DOA Secretary under Gov. Scott Walker from 2015 to 2018 and is currently a consultant based in Madison. Prior to being DOA Secretary, he was a Senior Vice President for Madison Gas & Electric. Neitzel was previously a commissioner on the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Development, and a Division Administrator within DOA during Thompson’s gubernatorial administration. He was also Special Assistant at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He has served as the chairman of the Wisconsin Center District board in Milwaukee. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Oshkosh and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

The transition team will be charged with:

  • Developing background on the 13-university UW System 2021-23 state operating and capital budget request, including the current operating budget of the System Administration and each university.
  • Assessing the organizational structure of the System Administration, including the roles and responsibilities of each unit.
  • Identifying opportunities to partner with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Developing a summary of:
    • The Office of Academic and Student Affairs, including academic programs, underrepresented minority representation initiatives, and UW Extended Campus.
    • The Office of Administration, including UW-Shared Services, the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP), IT infrastructure, and human resources.

Members of the transition team from UWSA are: Jeff Buhrandt, Senior Director for State Relations; Stefan Fletcher, Director for Administrative Policies and Special Projects; Julie Gordon, Senior Associate Vice President for Finance; Jack Jablonski, Executive Director of Public Affairs and Communications; and Anny Morrobel-Sosa, Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419