Governor Scott Walker announced three appointments to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents last week. These are his first citizen appointments to the board, having appointed two student regents earlier in the year.
Walker appointed Tim Higgins, Gary Roberts, and Gerald Whitburn to replace outgoing members Danae Davis, Tom Loftus, and Betty Womack. Citizen members of the Board of Regents must be approved by the state Senate and serve seven-year terms.
Tim Higgins is a graduate of UW-Madison and has a long history as a volunteer with the Wisconsin Alumni Association, as current chair of Alumni for Wisconsin and as a former member of their board of directors. The Appleton resident owns and operates ChiRho Services, a healthcare management company.
Gary Roberts is a graduate of UW-La Crosse and lives in Onalaska. He is president and CEO of Morrison Creek Cranberry Corporation and previously owned Piggy’s Restaurant in La Crosse. According to the La Crosse Tribune, Roberts’ small-business experience was a factor in his appointment: “We appoint people who are qualified, show an interest in improving higher education and share the governor’s passion for innovating government operations,” Cullen Werwie, a spokesman for Governor Scott Walker, said.
Gerald Whitburn is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and earned a master’s degree in political science from UW-Madison. From 2001-10, the the Wausau resident was CEO of Church Mutual Insurance Company. He held two cabinet positions under Governor Tommy Thompson, serving as secretary of the Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations from 1989-91 and as secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services from 1991-95.