In the closing days of Tommy Thompson's term as governor, he announced Friday that he was appointing Gerard Randall and James Klauser to serve seven-year terms on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.
If confirmed by the state Senate, Klauser will join current Regent Vice President Randall on the Board of Regents, representing Thompson's final appointments to the Board of Regents.
\Jim and Gerard are extremely dedicated people who are committed to ensuring the UW System will continue to provide a world-class education for generations to come,"" Thompson said in a statement.
""Gerard has been a hard-working leader on the board who is devoted to the interests of UW faculty, staff and students,"" he said.
Student Regent Joe Alexander said he believed that Randall was serious about numerous issues, including maintaining tuition and extending federal aid programs to help more students.
""He's one strong supporter for students issues,"" he said. ""He's probably one of my closest friends on the board.""
In a position where second terms are rare, Randall's reappointment as regent demonstrates an exception to the norm.
""It's probably more of a testament as to how important of a member he is to the board,"" Alexander said.
Replacing Regent Ruth Marcene James, Klauser has had an extensive career in Wisconsin government. A close friend to the governor, Klauser served both as Thompson's secretary of administration from 1986-'96 and special counsel to the governor from 1994-'96. In addition, Klauser is also working in Lt. Gov. Scott McCallum's transition committee as he prepares to take over as governor.
""Jim's longtime state service and familiarity with the university's relationship with state government will allow him to make immediate contributions to the board,"" Thompson said.
Alexander said he has faith in Klauser's abilities to serve as a regent for students of the UW System.
""I have known Mr. Klauser for actually a couple of years,"" he said. ""He'll be a very able policymaker.""
Alexander said Thompson's decision to appoint new regents just at the end of his term was not a surprise. Thompson has often named his nominations to the Board of Regents months in advance, he said.
In December, then-President-elect George W. Bush selected Thompson to head the Department of Health and Human Services. Thompson's nomination is widely expected to be approved by the United States Senate.