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Sabrina Mueller-Spitz, a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh associate biology professor, has been chosen to help identify the next UW System president.

Edmund Manydeeds III, president of the UW System Board of Regents, appointed a 19-member Search and Screen Committee July 9.

Current President Tommy Thompson has been serving in an interim role since July 1, 2020. He replaced Ray Cross, who retired after a 42-year career in higher education, including serving as UW System president from February 2014 to June 2020.

Sabrina Mueller-Spitz

“I am honored to be part of the search committee for the UW System president. I am pleased to represent the interests of faculty and staff at UW Oshkosh and the STEM disciplines,” said Mueller-Spitz, an environmental microbiologist at UWO.

She teaches epidemiology, environmental health, environmental physiology and microbial courses. Her primary research interests focus on how the connection between microbial communities and environmental health can impact human health.

She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in soil science from UW-Madison and a doctorate in biology/microbiology from the University of Cincinnati.

Prior to joining the UWO faculty, Mueller-Spitz was a post-doc fellow with the Great Lakes WATER Institute at UW-Milwaukee.

Regent Vice President Karen Walsh will chair the Search and Screen Committee, which includes Mueller-Spitz and two additional faculty members from across the UW System: Geoffrey Peterson, political science and American Indian studies professor from, UW-Eau Claire; and Jon Shelton, associate professor and chair of democracy and justice studies at UW-Green Bay.

The committee also includes:

  • Warren Anderson, Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, UW System
  • Robert Atwell, Regent
  • Rebecca Blank, Chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Regent
  • Johannes Britz, Provost, UW-Milwaukee
  • Michael Falbo, Regent President Emeritus
  • Deborah Ford, Chancellor, UW-Parkside
  • Rob Manzke, Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office, UW-Stevens Point
  • Dr. Ashok Rai, Regent
  • Glendali Rodriguez, Interim Provost, UW-Stout
  • Corey Saffold, Regent and student, UW-Whitewater
  • Paul Shain, Vice Chair, Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, and President/CEO, Singlewire Software LLC
  • Dennis Shields, Chancellor, UW-Platteville
  • Artanya Wesley, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, UW-Whitewater
  • Olivia Woodmansee, Regent Emeritus and student, UW-La Crosse

The committee is expected to convene in August, when Manydeeds will charge the committee with its mission, review search procedures and begin the national search. The Committee will schedule listening sessions at UW System’s 13 universities in September, when additional faculty, staff and students will be invited to participate.

A subcommittee will review the prospectus developed for the recent unsuccessful search with an eye toward identifying changes or additional information needed resulting from UW System’s experience with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Search and Screen Committee will engage the assistance of a national search firm to identify and screen candidates. The committee will determine and interview candidates; a Special Regent Committee to review finalists will be appointed later in the fall. The successful candidate will require the approval of the full Board of Regents.

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