Jacob Baggot was named executive director of University Health Services at the University of Wisconsin Monday.

As executive director, Baggot will lead the development of university policies and programs that protect and promote the health of all members of the campus community.

Baggott will succeed Sarah Van Orman, who left the position in June 2017. Arnold Jennerman has been serving as interim executive director and Bill Kinsey as interim chief health officer.

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Baggott, who is currently serving as assistant vice president for student health and well-being at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, was one of three finalists for the position but stuck out due to his experience and national leadership, as noted in a press release by Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Lori Reesor.

“His commitment to students, campus public health, and diversity and inclusion will serve UW-Madison well,” Reesor said in the press release.

At his current position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Baggott is responsible for overseeing health, counseling, wellness prevention and promotion, campus recreation, disability support services and veteran support services.

Baggott brings over thirty years of experience and has served as the president of the American College Health Association as well as the Mid-America College Health Association. Just last year, he received the ACHA’s Edward Hitchcock Award for Outstanding Contributions in College Health.

UW spokesperson Meredith McGlone emphasized the fact that Baggott’s experience is in line with university’s goal for a more inclusive and diverse campus climate.

“Jake also has a track record of fostering inclusion in health care at his previous universities and comes to UW-Madison with experience at a diverse institution,” McGlone said.

Baggot is originally from Rudolph, Wisconsin, but moved to Illinois for high school. He went on to serve two years of active duty in the U.S. Army, followed by 19 years in the Signal Corps of the Army National Guard where he retired first sergeant.

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Baggott, a first-generation college student, earned his Bachelor’s degree in electronics business management from Southern Illinois University and went on to receive a Master’s degree in health law and policy from the Southern Illinois University School of Law.

During his presentation as a finalist, Baggot revealed that he sees the position as a great leadership opportunity in what he views as one of the best programs in the country.

“There’s opportunity to be innovative and think outside the box and do something uniquely Wisconsin that might set standards and raise the bar for the profession as well,” Baggott said.

Baggot’s appointment will begin May 1.