After deadlock, UW regents pick president

Regents vice president will acquire president's chair

University of Wisconsin System regents have chosen a new president after deadlocking at their Milwaukee meeting.

Traditionally, the regents vice president automatically moves up to become president, and the vote is a formality. But on Friday, the regents split evenly while voting for current vice president Brent Smith or Regent Michael Falbo for president.

After the vote was still deadlocked after three votes, Regent Gerald Whitburn nominated a slate of Smith as president and Falbo as vice president. That slate unanimously passed in a voice vote, giving Smith the presidency.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Falbo has close ties to the Republican Party. He has been a regent since 2008 but has not served as the board’s vice president.