MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson announced this week that he has named Jeff Buhrandt as interim vice president for university relations, replacing Scott Neitzel, who is resigning his position after helping guide UW System during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Scott’s budget and management experience was key to helping me navigate the many challenges presented by the pandemic this past year,” Thompson said. “His senior leadership enabled us to do many things we would never have been able to do without him accepting this role. He has my sincerest thanks and appreciation.”

Neitzel, whose last day will be July 18, was instrumental in helping craft UW System’s community and student testing program and the system’s legislative budget approval, according to the UW.

Buhrandt, who begins his new role July 21, earned his bachelor’s degree from UW-Stevens Point and a master’s degree from UW-Milwaukee. He has served in a variety of roles at UW System since 2014, most recently as the associate vice president for government relations in which he oversees the system’s interactions with the executive and legislative branches of state and federal government.

“With his extensive background in government relations and history at UW System, Jeff offers invaluable experience to lead the Office of University Relations,” Thompson said in a news release.

The Office of University Relations oversees corporate relations, government relations and communications.

Prior to joining UW System, Buhrandt worked for eight years in the Wisconsin State Senate after beginning his career working in the office of longtime Wisconsin Congressman David Obey. Buhrandt grew up in Shawano.

Neitzel joined UW System last summer when Thompson took over as president. He served as co-chairman of Thompson’s UW System transition team and is a former state Department of Administration secretary.