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Tommy Thompson undergoes surgery after water-skiing accident

Tommy Thompson undergoes surgery after water-skiing accident


Tommy Thompson, the longest-serving governor in Wisconsin history and interim president of the University of Wisconsin System, said he had surgery Thursday, Sept. 16, after a “little water skiing accident” over the weekend.

Thompson, the former four-term Republican governor, wrote on Facebook that he needed to have his bicep reattached to the tendon.

System spokesperson Mark Pitsch said Thursday afternoon that Thompson was out of surgery.

“He’s resting and recovering well, already working the phones and looking forward to getting back to work,” Pitsch said.

Thompson turns 80 in November but shows few signs of slowing down. He’s traveled around the state in recent weeks as part of a vaccination campaign encouraging students to get the shot. He’s also pushed back against Republican efforts to control universities’ COVID-19 policies and predicted his stance would hold up in court if challenged.

A search for the next System president is underway.

Thompson was appointed interim System president in July 2020 and recently said he expects to stay in the job for another six months or so. A System website on the presidential search notes a new president could be announced in February 2022.

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