MILWAUKEE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents on Friday elected Regent Karen Walsh to a one-year term as president. Walsh, a graduate of UW-Madison and previously regent vice president, succeeds Edmund Manydeeds III, who has served as president since June 2021. Regents also elected Regent Amy Blumenfeld Bogost as vice president.
“Regent President Walsh has already had a lasting and influential impact on our great university system, having overseen chancellor and president searches and speaking forcefully and passionately about public higher education,” Manydeeds said. “Her leadership will serve the Board well. Regent Bogost has also demonstrated a strong commitment to the UW System, especially to students as leader of the Education Committee.”
Each June the Board elects a President and Vice President. Walsh has served on the Board since May 2019; Bogost joined the Board in May 2020.
Among other duties, the Board President designates Board committee membership, signs all diplomas and contracts issued by the Board, and speaks on behalf of the Board with the Governor and legislative groups.
“I’m humbled to lead such a talented, cohesive group of colleagues,” Walsh said. “Their passion for public higher education and the Wisconsin Idea is matched only by the dedication and creativity of our faculty, staff, and students. The success of the UW System and all of Wisconsin is truly our North Star.”
Regent Walsh is director of the BerbeeWalsh Foundation, a family foundation dedicated to human and animal health and welfare. Since 2006, the foundation has awarded more than $14 million in grants in the State of Wisconsin, including gifts to the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics to create the BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine, the new UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine to name its emergency department, and the Madison Cat Project to acquire and remodel a new shelter facility. She was a newscaster and reporter for news outlets including Wisconsin Public Radio prior to serving for 23 years in a variety of public information and communications positions at UW-Madison. She retired in 2005 as the Assistant Dean for External Relations in the College of Engineering, directing alumni and donor communications, news media relations, and industry communications.
A native of Columbus, Wisconsin, Walsh holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from UW-Madison. She serves on a number of nonprofit boards, including the Board of Visitors at the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, the Madison Cat Project, and the Access Community Health Centers Community Partners Board. She is also a past president of the Madison Opera Board of Trustees. She and her husband, Dr. James Berbee, live in Madison.
Regent Bogost is a lawyer focused on representation of victims of sensitive crimes and federal Title IX. She has provided training on implementation of Title IX at Tribal colleges and has helped organize and teach at the National Trial Tribal College, co-sponsored and located at the UW-Madison Law School. She is an advocate for students with learning differences and has provided pro bono representation for families facing these challenges. She is currently on the board of the Milwaukee-based HIR Wellness Center, a nonprofit providing mental health and wellness care. She is a UW-Madison graduate who earned a law degree from the Chicago Kent College of Law. She and her husband live in Madison and have three adult children.
“I am thankful to former President Manydeeds for his leadership this past year,” Bogost said. “I am proud and honored to serve as vice president with President Walsh and my board colleagues as we move forward with our united goal of making the UW System even greater for students, staff, faculty, and all the people of Wisconsin. I am extremely fortunate to be able to work with such talented, passionate board members and staff that all deeply believe in the Wisconsin Idea.”
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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.