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Two finalists to be named for UW opening

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The U-W Board of Regents is expected to decide today who the next president of the university system will be. A group of three finalists has reportedly been narrowed to two. Robert King, head of the Kentucky Council on Post-Secondary Education, has dropped out of contention. That leaves U-W Colleges-and-Extension chancellor Ray Cross in the running, along with chief operating officer Peter Garland of Pennsylvania's higher education system.

The Wisconsin State Journal said it was not clear whether King withdrew, or did not make one of the final cuts. The paper quoted a Kentucky spokeswoman as saying that King was "honored to be considered," and he'll apparently stay in his present job. King stood out among the finalists because of his previous political experience in New York State, which included a stint as a legislator. Cross and Garland have more traditional academic backgrounds.

The new president will replace Kevin Reilly, who resigned at the end of 2013. All three finalists said one of their top priorities is to mend a strained relationship between the U-W and the state Legislature, which helps provide the university with much of its funding.