Former Governor Tommy Thompson will serve as the University of Wisconsin System Interim President, the UW Board of Regents announced Friday.

In a statement released on Friday, the UW Board of Regents President Andrew Peterson announced former Gov. Thompson agreed to fill in as the UW System Interim President. The decision comes after the sole finalist for the position, Jim Johnsen, withdrew his name from the proceedings last Friday, following criticism of the System’s search process.

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Thompson was given “uniform support” to serve as the Interim President by the UW Board of Regents at their meeting on Thursday, according to the statement. Thompson will start in the position July 1. 

“Governor Thompson is a statesman who offers the kind of leadership the UW System needs right now,” Petersen said in the statement. “I have witnessed his collaborative yet direct leadership style. He is perfectly suited to serve as Interim President.”

The Board of Regents will not begin another search for a permanent System President for at least one year. According to Thompson’s contract, he will serve as the Interim President until a new hire is found and takes over the position. 

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Thompson will be paid the minimum salary of $489,334 annually under the Board’s policies, per Thompson’s request, according to the statement. 

“The University of Wisconsin System is the state’s most valuable asset, and I will be its biggest advocate and its toughest evaluator,” Thompson said in the statement. “No other institution in the state can do more to improve lives, communities, and Wisconsin’s economy.”