University of Wisconsin Madison by sk CC BY-ND 2.0
The chairman and CEO of a prominent law firm based in Milwaukee and the Chancellor of UW-Eau Claire were named as finalists in the search for a permanent UW System president on Friday.
The university system has been without a permanent president for nearly two years after the initial, widely criticized search failed because enough wasn’t done to include the voices of campus community members including faculty, staff and students.
On Friday, the search committee announced that Jay Rothman, chairman of the Milwaukee-based law firm Foley and Lardner, and James Schmidt, chancellor at UW-Eau Claire since 2013, were the finalists in the second search.
“We have identified two excellent candidates, each of whom would be an outstanding leader for our university system,” UW System Board of Regents President Edmund Manydeeds III said in a statement. “We believe their qualifications and experience provide the committee a great opportunity to pick a future leader for the UW System.
The first search only named one candidate, University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen, who withdrew from consideration after criticism of the search process.
Rothman has not worked in higher education before and has served on the board of Children’s Wisconsin. Schmidt has worked in higher education his whole career, including at a number of schools in Minnesota.
On Tuesday, both finalists will be interviewed by the search committee and other groups that include campus community members. Following the interviews, the committee will make a recommendation to the full Board of Regents for a vote. A decision is expected by the end of January, according to a news release.
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