Jay O. Rothman began his tenure as the ninth president of the University of Wisconsin System on June 1, 2022.
With 13 universities across 26 campuses and a statewide extension network, the UW System is home to world-class education, research, and outreach, serving approximately 161,000 students and awarding nearly 37,000 degrees each year. President Rothman leads a statewide workforce of some 35,000 faculty, academic staff, and university staff. He is also responsible for the UW System’s $6 billion annual budget, made up of state support, federal funding, tuition and fees, and private gifts. He reports to the UW System Board of Regents.
Rothman previously served as the chairman and CEO of the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP. Founded in Wisconsin in 1842, Foley has over 1,100 lawyers and approximately 1,000 professional staff members. The firm ranks among the top 50 law firms in the country based on revenue and serves over 10,000 clients from offices located in three international cities and 22 U.S. cities, including Milwaukee and Madison. Rothman was chairman and CEO of Foley & Lardner for 11 years and a member of the firm’s Management Committee for 20 years. He joined Foley in 1986, becoming a partner in 1994.
As Foley’s chairman and CEO, Rothman was responsible for developing and executing the firm’s strategic plan as well as overseeing the firm’s administrative functions. These included legal talent recruitment, retention, and development; human resources; accounting and finance; business development and marketing; facilities and procurement management; legal affairs and risk management; information technology and security; public relations and communications; and diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a practicing lawyer, Rothman worked primarily in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, and corporate governance.
Rothman serves as a director of Quad/Graphics, Inc. (NYSE: QUAD) and Mayville Engineering Company, Inc. (NYSE: MEC). His community involvement has included serving as a director of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. He also previously served as the chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of Children’s Hospital & Health System (now known as Children’s Wisconsin) and as the chairman and a member of the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation (now known as Children’s Wisconsin Foundation).
Rothman earned a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.