Evers has majority of UW Board of Regents appointees

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announces a deal to preserve federal food benefits

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday that the CEO of Prevea Health will be joining the University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents, giving him a majority of the appointees on the 18-member board.

Evers, a Democrat, has now appointed nine of the board’s members, compared with the seven who were put there by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker. The other two members are the state superintendent of schools and the Wisconsin Technical College System Board President.

The shift in the board’s political makeup comes as it prepares to hire a new president for the UW System. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has been serving as interim president since July after the previous search for a president ended with the sole finalist withdrawing from consideration.

The regents haven’t said when the new search will start and Thompson has said he will remain as interim president as long as needed. The regents also must select a new board president who will take a lead role in the presidential search.

Evers on Friday announced the appointment of Dr. Ashok Rai to a seven-year term on the board. Rai has been the CEO and president of Prevea Health since 2009 and also maintains a medical practice at the Woodside Lutheran Nursing Home in Green Bay.

Rai takes over for Eve Hall, who was appointed by Walker and whose term expired Friday.

Evers also reappointed Regent John Miller, a venture capital fund founder who has been a longtime Democratic donor, to the board and named Brianna Tucker, a freshman at UW-Stevens Point, as a student regent. Miller was first appointed to the board in February following the death of board member Jose Delgado. Miller was appointed to a full seven-year term. Tucker’s term is for two years.

The appointments are subject to confirmation by the Republican-controlled state Senate, but the regents can serve while that approval is pending.