MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents President Andrew S. Petersen announced that former Governor Tommy G. Thompson has agreed to serve as UW System Interim President effective July 1.

Former Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary and Journalism Board of Visitors member Ray Allen:

“The appointment of former Governor Tommy Thompson to lead the UW system is exceptional. He brings a broad base of experience and proven leadership combined with a strong commitment to the UW. Additionally, his long-standing support of our state minority communities and their educational needs bring added value.”

Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser:

“The Board of Regents has made a very good pick for Interim President. Tommy Thompson has always been committed to the State and the University System. These are challenging times and Tommy Thompson has the experience and character to lead the system to continued success. I look forward to working with him on these important issues.”

Former Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele:

“Governor Thompson is a great choice as interim president. There are few people as passionate about the welfare of our state as he is and fewer still who are very familiar with its great institutions like the UW System. He is more than capable of steering the ship through the rest of the search process.”

Wisconsin Diversified Investments CEO William Martin:

“In these uncertain times, it is all the more essential to have steady and experienced leadership navigating the way toward a better future. Like the Board of Regents, I know the ideal person to lead the University of Wisconsin through this unprecedented period is Tommy Thompson. He will lead the system as he led the state. FORWARD!”

Associate Dean of Oncology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Howard H. Bailey, MD:

“Governor Tommy Thompson has been a tireless advocate for cancer patients and their families. During his time in and out of office, he has supported numerous initiatives to advance cancer research and care, and has championed the work of the UW Carbone Cancer Center for many years. He has also been personally affected by the disease, and is highly invested in finding new cures for all types of cancer. He sees the critical importance of our researchers, doctors and staff, and I look forward to working with him in his new role leading the University of Wisconsin System.”



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