Tommy Thompson to resign as UW System interim president
By MMC staff
CENTRAL WISCONSIN – UW System Interim President Tommy Thompson will resign this spring.
That’s what Thompson told UW Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds in a Jan. 7 letter.
“I love Wisconsin. As you have heard me profess on many occasions, I believe the University of Wisconsin System is among our state’s greatest assets, second only to its people. I have worked relentlessly over the past 18 months to lead this organization and put the Wisconsin Idea into action to improve the lives of all Wisconsinites,” Thompson said.
“I was honored to be asked by the Board of Regents to serve as System President, particularly through what could have been its darkest time. While challenging on many fronts, we worked together to continue to provide the quality of education our students deserve and parents expect.”
UWSP Chancellor Thomas Gibson reacted to Thompson’s departure, releasing the following statement:
As the first chancellor President Thompson hired, I have had the honor of working closely with a leader who displays boundless energy, vision and passion for Wisconsin and the UW System. Tommy Thompson absolutely loves the state of Wisconsin and its people. He has a strong affinity for the UW System, our campuses and especially, our students. He spoke often of the key role the UW System plays in improving lives and propelling the state’s economy,” Gibson stated.
Gibson cited Thompson’s leadership in creating a summer bridge program in 2021 that helped ease the transition to UW campuses for new, first-generation and diverse students. Gibson said that Thompson’s advocacy for replacement of Albertson Hall was instrumental in securing approval and funding for this critically needed project.
In his letter, Thompson said that is time as president would end on March 18.
“When I agreed to lead our System, I did so knowing two things; that I was needed, and that it would be temporary. I have been encouraged and heartened that so many of my fellow citizens and university colleagues have taken the time to personally express their gratitude for my willingness to lead an organization that has been so instrumental in my personal and professional life, and to the life of Wisconsin,” Thompson said.
“As the regents will soon identify a candidate to succeed former UW System President Ray Cross and me as Interim President, the onboarding process will require the full attention of System staff, chancellors, faculty, and the many remarkable people that carry out the business of the System every day. Until the end, I will work to accomplish all that is needed before allowing staff the ability to prepare for the transition.”
The UW Board of Regents is expected to name a new president in February.