SOMERS, Wis. – Deborah Ford, chancellor at UW-Parkside, has been chosen to help identify the next UW System President

Current President Tommy Thompson has been serving in an interim role since July 1, 2020. He replaced Ray Cross, who retired after a 42-year career in higher education, including serving as UW System President from February 2014 to June 2020. 

“I am honored to be a part of the search committee for the UW System President,” said Ford. “I have enjoyed working with President Tommy Thompson and I love to see the passion he has for our students at UW-Parkside and for higher education in Wisconsin. I am pleased to be able to represent the interests of the most diverse UW System university on this committee.” 

Regent Vice President Karen Walsh will chair the Search and Screen Committee. Other members of the committee are: 

  • Warren Anderson, Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, UW System 
  • Robert Atwell, Regent 
  • Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, UW-Madison 
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Regent 
  • Johannes Britz, Provost, UW-Milwaukee 
  • Michael Falbo, Regent President Emeritus 
  • Deborah Ford, Chancellor, UW-Parkside 
  • Rob Manzke, Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office, UW-Stevens Point 
  • Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, Associate Professor of Biology, UW Oshkosh 
  • Geoffrey Peterson, Professor of Political Science and American Indian Studies, UW-Eau Claire 
  • Dr. Ashok Rai, Regent 
  • Glendali Rodriguez, Interim Provost, UW-Stout 
  • Corey Saffold, Regent and Student, UW-Whitewater 
  • Paul Shain, Vice Chair, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and President/CEO, Singlewire Software, LLC 
  • Jon Shelton, Associate Professor, and Chair, Democracy and Justice Studies, UW-Green Bay 
  • Dennis Shields, Chancellor, UW-Platteville 
  • Artanya Wesley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UW-Whitewater 
  • Olivia Woodmansee, Regent Emeritus and Student, UW-La Crosse 

The Committee is expected to convene in August, when Regent President Ed Manydeeds will charge the Committee with its mission, review search procedures, and begin the national search. The Committee will schedule listening sessions at UW System’s 13 universities in September, when additional faculty, staff, and students will be invited to participate. 

A subcommittee will review the prospectus developed for the recent unsuccessful search with an eye toward identifying changes or additional information needed resulting from UW System’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Search and Screen Committee will engage the assistance of a national search firm to identify and screen candidates. The Committee will determine and interview candidates; a Special Regent Committee to review finalists will be appointed later in the fall. The successful candidate will require the approval of the full Board of Regents.