Gov. Tony Evers appointed nonprofit leader Héctor Colón to the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on March 5. 

Colón will take the place of former regent Gerald Whitburn, following his resignation in early Jan. 

Former Gov. Scott Walker appointed Gerald Whitburn in 2011, and then again in 2018, to serve until May 2025 before his resignation. Whitburn did not specify a reason for leaving. 

Héctor Colón will complete the remainder of Whitburn’s term, following the senate’s confirmation of his appointment. Colón is a Milwaukee local and attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

According to the Wisconsin State Journal, Colón was a professional boxer in his early life, competing in the 1992 Olympic trials — he retired from boxing in 1994 at the age of 20. 

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According to a release from UW communications, Colón was the president and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, which is a large, statewide nonprofit in Wisconsin. There, he worked to overturn budget shortfalls.

“Throughout my career, I have focused on addressing complex issues impacting people and communities, while improving budgets and organizational efficiency,” Colón said in a press release. “I look forward to bringing that experience to the UW Board of Regents and I want to thank Governor Evers for this appointment.” 

The Board of Regents for the UW System is a group of volunteer members that establish policies and rules for the UW school system, set admission standards and policies and approve budgets, according to the UW System website.

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Eighteen members serve on the board and the governor appoints 16. The remaining two members are the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and a designee from the Wisconsin Technical College Board System, according to the website.

“I believe Héctor’s experience turning around budgets, advocating on behalf of some of Wisconsin’s most vulnerable residents and visionary leadership style will serve the Board well,” Gov. Evers said in a press release.