Lone UW president finalist withdraws from consideration

Student fees, room-and-board costs to increase as University of Wisconsin regents approve new budget

MADISON, Wis.  — The lone finalist for the University of Wisconsin System’s president job has withdrawn his name from consideration.

In a statement Friday, UW System Regent President Andrew Petersen said it was “disappointing, a dark day for the UW System.”

University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen was the only finalist to emerge from a months-long search.

Other would-be finalists withdrew from the running because they feared if they were identified they would lost their ability to fight COVID-19 in their current positions.

The University of Alaska System issued a statement Friday saying Johnsen had withdrawn from consideration and quoting him as saying he feels he’s called to lead the system in Alaska.

“I appreciate the strong support from the search committee at Wisconsin, and for all those who supported my candidacy, but it’s clear they have important process issues to work out,” Johnsen said.

Petersen said the regents “will work to identify and get through our immediate financial and operational challenges with the pandemic, then deliberate on the next steps to conduct a new search when there is a better opportunity.”