MADISON — As Tommy Thompson takes office today, July 1, as president of the University of Wisconsin System, his transition team has announced creation of the Listening Post for Wisconsin residents and UW students, faculty and staff to ask questions and offer ideas.

Tommy Thompson

The Listening Post, and a message from Thompson, is available on the UW System website president’s page.

“Tommy Thompson will begin his tenure as UW System’s ‘Listener-in-Chief,’” said Tom Loftus, the former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Ambassador to Norway, and Board of Regents member who co-chairs the transition team, in a news release. “He will collect ideas, feedback and questions from the people the UW System serves.”

Thompson took over from Ray Cross, who will remain with UW System as an advisor for 90 days.

A native of Elroy, Wisconsin, Thompson earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from UW-Madison. He was elected to the Wisconsin Assembly in 1966 and became minority leader in 1981. He won election as governor in 1986 and won an unprecedented four terms, which makes him the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin history. He stepped down during his fourth term to become HHS secretary under President George W. Bush, a role where he oversaw an increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health and enhanced local public health preparedness. He chairs the UW System Business Council and helped lead a public-private campaign to fund UW-Madison’s BioStar Initiative with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.