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Just shy of a year ago, then-gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers said he couldn’t wait to replace his colleagues on the board overseeing University of Wisconsin campuses.

Evers on Monday fulfilled that promise for the first time, appointing three people to the UW System Board of Regents, which is made up almost entirely of former Republican Gov. Scott Walker appointees.

The appointments include Karen Walsh, of Madison, and Edmund Manydeeds III, of Eau Claire, both of whom will serve seven-year terms that begin May 2 and run through 2026. Evers also announced the appointment of a UW-La Crosse student.

Walsh spent more than 20 years working at UW-Madison. She and her husband donated $10 million to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 2015 to increase the size of the UW Hospital emergency facility. She currently serves as the director of a local family foundation dedicated to advancing human and animal health and welfare.

Campaign finance records show Walsh donated about $14,000 to Evers’ gubernatorial campaign, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Manydeeds previously served a term on the board from April 2010 through May 2017 under an appointment by former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

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Manydeeds donated $1,500 to Evers’ gubernatorial campaign, records show.

Walsh and Manydeeds will replace John Robert Behling and Regina Millner.

Olivia Woodmansee, a UW-La Crosse student studying math and English, will serve a two-year appointment as student regent and take the seat of Ryan Ring, a UW-Eau Claire student.

Evers served as a regent for nearly 10 years because he also held the position of state superintendent of public instruction. At his final board meeting last December, Evers pledged to appoint independent people, “not employees of mine.”

Walker appointed attorney Scott Beightol and UW-Madison student Torrey Tiedeman to the board during a legislative lame-duck session in December. Those appointments are now among several in a legal dispute that has been taken up by the state Supreme Court.

The 18-member board passes policies and rules for campuses, sets admissions standards, approves university budgets and grants tenure appointments to faculty members.

Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

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