The selection process for a new student representative on the UW Board of Regents will enter its final stages in upcoming weeks.
Four finalists have been recommended to Wisconsin Gov. Scott McCallum by a selection committee after reviewing the dozen or so applicants to replace current Regent Joe Alexander for the lone student position on the board.
The governor’s office has released the names of the four finalists. It includes Henry E. Tyler of UW-Stout, Lindsey M. Baldwin of UW-Green Bay, Eric Honkanen of UW-Superior and Tommie Jones, Jr. of UW-Whitewater.
Tyler is one of two minority students that make up the final recommendations. He served as the academic affairs director of United Council for the 1999-2000 term but lost an election bid for president of United Council in the spring of 2000. Tyler was also elected as vice president and then president of the Stout Student Association during his undergraduate years. He was also the director of diversity for the Stout Student Association. Tyler’s appointment would stand as the first graduate student appointment.
Baldwin’s success has been mainly academic. As a junior majoring in political science, Baldwin has won numerous awards, honors and scholarships, including the United States National Mathematics Award. Baldwin has a long list of volunteer service as well.
Honkanen is currently studying music and legal studies as a junior at UW-Superior and has experience in national, state, local and university politics.
Jones, whose appointment would mark the first time an African American served on the Board, is studying political science and race and ethnic studies as a senior. He has been elected president and chief student representative on the Whitewater Student Government and has had a long list of experiences in university-level politics. Jones also has a long list of experience in various diversity organizations, the Segregated Fee Allocation Committee and a number of budgetary and planning organizations. Jones would also serve his second term with the Regents as a graduate student.
The four finalists were selected after a selection committee reviewed the resumes and applications of the original 10-12 applicants. According to Alexander, the final call will be made by McCallum, and may not reflect the committee’s recommendations.
“His office has this process set up only to help him,” Alexander said. “What you might expect is that he will interview these four people and select one of them.”
But, as Alexander proved during his nomination process in 1999, the governor may choose whomever he wants for the position.
The attributes McCallum may look for in his appointment range from active involvement in student government to political leanings. Honkanen has expressed his “emphasis on promulgating a conservative agenda” in his submitted resume. Baldwin’s family comes from the Fox River Valley, a Republican stronghold in Wisconsin and McCallum’s primary supporters. Neither Jones nor Tyler are publicizing their political leanings.
“I think [McCallum will] want someone on the Board who is a little independent and thinks outside of the box,” Alexander said. “You need innovative ideas and you also need someone who is willing to work hard with groups of students and understand what it is that campuses and students really need.”
According to McCallum spokeswoman Debbie Monterrey-Millet, a decision will be made by the next Board of Regents meeting, on July 12.