University of Wisconsin System Interim President Tommy Thompson has announced he will leave his post on March 18. In a January 7 letter to Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds, Thompson wrote that he is leaving so that the university system can prepare to onboard his successor. The UW System Board of Regents is looking at final candidates for system president for a second time, after the lone finalist selected in the first search process withdrew from consideration. The search for a new president began after Ray Cross announced his retirement plans in October 2019.
Thompson took over as the UW System’s temporary leader in July 2020, guiding the system through the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and convincing the governor and Legislature to restore tuition authority to the Board of Regents following a decade-long freeze on tuition rates for in-state undergraduate students. Earlier in his career, Thompson served as Wisconsin’s governor for 14 years after winning election to ten terms in the state Assembly.
This article was updated on January 20, 2022. An incorrect statement about the UW System’s first search process was corrected.