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Thompson creates UW System presidency transition team

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Tommy Thompson has tapped two figures from his past to lead a transition team as he prepares to take over as the University of Wisconsin System’s interim president next week.

Tom Loftus and Scott Neitzel will serve as co-chairmen as the team races to prepare Thompson to step into his new job, system officials announced Tuesday.

Loftus, a Democrat, served as the state Assembly’s speaker from 1983 to 1991. Thompson served in the Assembly during most of Loftus’ stint as speaker and defeated him to win a second term as governor in 1990.

Then-President Bill Clinton appointed Loftus ambassador to Norway from 1993 to 1997.

Neitzel, a Republican, served as state Department of Administration secretary under former Gov. Scott Walker from 2015 to 2018. He was a DOA division administrator during Thompson’s gubernatorial administration.

Thompson has asked the team to prepare background information on the system and individual campuses’ 2021-23 operational and capital-budget requests. He also wants an assessment of the system’s structure and a summary of academic programs, IT infrastructure and diversity initiatives, system officials said.

Thompson is set to take over as interim president on July 1. The transition team plans to meet for the first time on Thursday. The meeting will not be open to the public because the team doesn’t meet the definition of a governmental body under state law, said the UW spokesman Mark Pitsch.

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