UW regents to consider final recommendation for president

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System leaders are close to announcing their pick for system president.

The Board of Regents is slated to meet Friday afternoon to make their choice between UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt and business attorney Jay Rothman.

The selection comes after the system has gone two years without a permanent leader and during a time of heightened concern over the COVID-19 pandemic. Former Gov. Tommy Thompson has been serving as interim president since Ray Cross retired in June 2020.

The regents named Jim Johnsen, then president of the University of Alaska, as the lone finalist for the job the month Cross retired but Johnsen withdrew his name from consideration that same month amid a massive backlash about the selection process and his spotty record in Alaska.