MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System regents’ leader has selected former Gov. Tommy Thompson to serve as the system’s interim president. The system announced Friday that Regent President Andrew Peterson has appointed Thompson to the post. Thompson will take over on July 1. He will replace outgoing President Ray Cross, who announced in October he would step down when a successor was found.

The regents had planned to hire University of Alaska System President Jim Johnsen but Johnsen withdrew from consideration last week amid criticism from faculty, staff and students. Thompson, a Republican, is Wisconsin’s only four-term governor. He stepped down during his fourth term to serve as then-President George W. Bush’s health secretary.