Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Alumnus Loftus to co-lead Thompson transition team

Tom Loftus (MA '72) listens to graduate students present their Workshop report for the Outrider Foundation in April 2019 Tom Loftus (MA '72) listens to graduate students present their Workshop report for the Outrider Foundation in April 2019

Incoming University of Wisconsin System President and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson announced that Tom Loftus (MA ’72) and Scott Neitzel will co-chair his transition team.

Loftus served in the Wisconsin Assembly from 1976 to 1991, including several years as speaker. From 1993 to 1997, he served as U.S. ambassador to Norway under President Bill Clinton. Loftus also served on the UW System Board of Regents from 2005 to 2011.

In 2019, Loftus collaborated with La Follette School graduate students on a project for the Outrider Foundation, a Wisconsin-based, globally focused not-for-profit group dedicated to focusing on issues affecting the long-term well-being of the planet. Loftus serves on Outrider’s Board of Directors.

The students’ project, Silent Dangers: Assessing the Threat of Nuclear Submarines, is on the La Follette School website.

Thompson served as the graduation speaker for the La Follette School’s Class of 2016.

Neitzel was secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) from 2015 to 2018 and a division administrator with DOA during Thompson’s gubernatorial administration. He previous worked as a senior vice president for Madison Gas & Electric and a special assistant at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

According to a news release, the transition team will be charged with

  • Developing background on the 13-university UW System 2021-23 state operating and capital budget request, including the current operating budget of the System Administration and each university.
  • Assessing the organizational structure of the System Administration, including the roles and responsibilities of each unit.
  • Identifying opportunities to partner with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Developing a summary of:
    • The Office of Academic and Student Affairs, including academic programs, underrepresented minority representation initiatives, and UW Extended Campus.
    • The Office of Administration, including UW-Shared Services, the Administrative Transformation Program (ATP), IT infrastructure, and human resources.

UW–Madison is part of the UW System, which serves approximately 170,000 students and awards nearly 37,000 degrees annually.