The Board of Regents is scheduled to announce the next president of the University of Wisconsin System. The group of three finalists was narrowed to two Wednesday when Robert King, head of the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education, dropped out of contention. That leaves UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor Ray Cross and Peter Garland, Chief Operating Officer of Pennsylvania’s higher education system.
The Wisconsin State Journal reported that it was not clear whether King withdrew from consideration, or did not make one of the final cuts. A spokesperson said King was “honored to be considered,” and he’ll apparently stay in his present job.
The newspaper reported that questions have been raised regarding King’s background as a conservative legislator in New York, and as an officeholder on the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. That organization promotes pro-business, free-market legislation and is anathema to many Democrats.
The new president will replace Kevin Reilly, who resigned at the end of 2013. All three finalists said one of their top priorities is to mend the strained relationship between the UW and the state Legislature.