Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Ervin, Olsen join Board of Visitors

Roger Ervin and Luther Olsen Roger Ervin and Luther Olsen

The La Follette School welcomed two members to its Board of Visitors in October – Roger Ervin and Luther Olsen. BOV members help the School identify resources that can enhance its stature and standing, provide fundraising assistance, and act as goodwill ambassadors for the School.

“I am so excited to have these outstanding public servants join our Board, especially for our students,” said Director and Professor Susan Webb Yackee. “Board members enjoy it tremendously when they interact with our students, and students gain invaluable insights from them – a terrific experience for both.”

Ervin recently retired as president and CEO of Blumont, a leading government contractor, and was Secretary of the Wisconsin Department Revenue from 2007 to 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and his master’s degree in business administration from UW–Madison. He will be teaching public management and leadership as a La Follette School adjunct associate professor in the future.

“I am honored to be invited to serve on the La Follette School Board of Visitors and to join the staff as an adjunct,” Ervin said. “As a former government official and business executive, I look forward to helping guide and grow the institution and to impart the knowledge that I have gained onto students who will be the next generation of public sector leaders.”

Olsen was elected to the State Senate in 2004, after serving in the State Assembly for 10 years. A lifelong resident of the 14th Senate District, Olsen received his bachelor’s degree from UW–Madison. In the Legislature, he has served on numerous committees, including the Joint Committee on Finance and the Senate Education Committee. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Education Commission of the States and many other state and national boards and committees.

“As a legislator, I have benefited from the La Follette School’s efforts to bring research-backed initiatives into the policymaking sphere,” Olsen said. “I look forward to helping the School continue this tradition.”