MADISON, Wis.—UW System President Tommy Thompson issued this statement today:

“It is with sadness and regret that I announce the passing of James R. Klauser. Jim’s contributions to the people of Wisconsin were extraordinary and today Wisconsin lost a man who helped build Wisconsin into what it is today. He was 83.

“For a decade, he served as my Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration in our administration. He was the foundation of our administration, and I could not have accomplished what I did without the strong ally and dedicated servant Jim proved to be. He was brilliant and thoughtful, whose steady presence earned the respect of everyone that served with him. Jim was not a man who sought attention or spoke without purpose, and when he did speak, everybody listened.

“Jim was not only my most trusted advisor, he was also my best friend, lifelong partner, and a man who loved his family and adored his children and grandchildren. My heart is with his lovely wife, Shirley, two children, David (D.J.) and James W. (Jamie), and two grandchildren, Katherine and David.

“Those who knew Jim best knew that besides all he contributed to his personal and professional life, his true passion was sailing. Like the life he lived, he could navigate through serene seas and strong winds with equal ease, seemingly bending the will of nature around his purpose. Today, he is sailing off to heaven under strong winds and calm seas.”


The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 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 – with a median salary of more than $66,000. 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.


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Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419