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Two finalists announced for UW System President

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Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 2:28 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Special Regent Committee for the University of Wisconsin System Presidential Search has chosen two finalists for the position.

The two finalists are Jay O. Rothman, chairman and CEO of the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP in Milwaukee, and James C. Schmidt, chancellor at UW-Eau Claire.

“We have identified two excellent candidates, each of whom would be an outstanding leader for our university system,” Regent President Edmund Manydeeds III, chair of the Special Regent Committee, said. “We believe their qualifications and experience provide the committee a great opportunity to pick a future leader for the UW System.”

Rothman has served in his role at Foley since June 2011 and has been a member of the firm’s Management Committee since February 2002. Rothman has a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Schmidt has served in his role at UW-Eau Claire since July 2013. He was previously vice president for university advancement at Winona State University in Winona, Minn. and vice president for student affairs at Riverland Community College in Austin, Minn. Schmidt has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Winona State University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and a doctorate in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota.

Both finalists will be interviewed for the position on Tuesday. Interviews will be held with the Special Regent Committee and other groups, including shared governance representatives, chancellors and UW System executive leaders.

Manydeeds said because of the large amount of public input received so far, there will be no public session with the two finalists.

After the interviews, the Special Regent Committee will give a recommendation to the full Board of Regents, which will make a final hiring decision.

A final decision for the new UW System President is expected by the end of January.

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