MILWAUKEE – Jay L. Smith, Middleton, was today elected to a one-year term as president of the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. He succeeds San Orr, Jr., Wausau, who served as president since June 1998.

The action was taken during the monthly meeting of the board, held this morning on the UW-Milwaukee campus. Gerard Randall was elected to a one-year term as vice president, succeeding Smith. Regent Joanne Brandes was also nominated for vice president. Brandes, senior vice president, general counsel and secretary for S.C. Johnson Commercial Markets, Inc., Racine, chairs the Regents Education Committee.

Smith is president and chief executive officer of JLS Investment Group, which he founded in 1992. He is the former president and CEO of DRG Medical Packaging, a global leader in the manufacture of sterilizable medical packaging, and later served as president and CEO of DRG Ltd. in Bristol, England, a worldwide packaging conglomerate operating in 56 countries.

“I will build on the good foundation established under past Regent President San Orr, and devote my energies to making the University of Wisconsin System even more responsive to the needs of the citizens of this state,” said Smith.

“It is important for the University to play a role in bringing business and government together to have a conversation on Wisconsin’s economic development. This activity is in line with the historic mission of the university to serve the people of the state. It is obvious to me and a growing number of other people that developing a knowledge based economy is critical to the future economic development of the state. The state’s economic climate is very positive today, but we need to look to the future. The university has a lot to offer, and economic development will clearly be a major focus of our next UW budget,” said Smith.

Smith was appointed to a seven-year term on the Board of Regents by Governor Tommy G. Thompson in May 1995, and has served as vice president of the Board since June 1998.

He is a past chair of the Regents Education Committee, and in that capacity was an architect of Plan 2008, UW System’s 10-year plan to improve educational quality through racial and ethnic diversity. Plan 2008 has received national recognition as a model diversity plan. Smith chairs the Special Regent Committee for the UW-Madison Chancellor Search, and serves on the Regents’ executive committee.

A Madison native, Smith received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UW-Madison. His business, civic and University involvement is extensive, and includes the creation of an endowment for International Business Studies at UW-Madison; leadership positions with United Way of Dane County and the Madison Art Center; and membership on UW-Madison’s External Affairs Committee, Business School Board of Advisors, and Athletic Director’s Board of Advisors.

Randall is president and chief executive officer of the Private Industry Council of Milwaukee County, a non-profit corporation that monitors the five private agencies that operate the Wisconsin Works (W-2) welfare reform program in Milwaukee County.

Randall, appointed to a seven-year term on the Board of Regents in June 1994, lives in Milwaukee. A native of Chicago, he graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and education. Randall serves on the board of directors for the Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and Rosalie Manor.

Randall is a former school teacher in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). While teaching, he served on the MPS Task Force on School-to-Work Initiatives, Council on Vocational and Technical Education, and Task Force on Facilities Planning.

Randall is vice chair of the Board’s Education Committee and he serves on the Special Regent Committee for UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Search. He also serves as the Board’s liaison to Association of Governing Boards, the Regent member of the Wisconsin Technical College System Board and the Higher Educational Aids Board.


Sharyn Wisniewski, UW System
(608) 262-6448