UW-Madison alum Wills named to Board of Regents in New York

UW-Madison alumna Frances Wills was chosen by the New York state legislature to represent the 9th Judicial District on the state Board of Regents.

Wills earned her Ph.D. from the School of Education’s Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis in 1990.

Frances Wills

Retiring in 2019, Wills served in education for more than 50 years. For 16 of those years, she was Briarcliff Manor’s schools chief. She also spent six years as the superintendent of the Putnam Valley school district.

Wills will succeed Judith Johnson, who held the Board of Regents seat from 2015 until her death last October. Regents serve five-year, unpaid terms and work with the board to make statewide education policy.

For Wills, mental health support is crucial to modern education. She says that some schools need trauma-informed classes, and all schools must counter cruel and hateful social media.

“Congratulations to Dr. Frances G. Wills on her election to the Board of Regents for the 9th Judicial District,” said Senator Shelley Mayer, chair of the Senate education committee, in a statement. “I look forward to working with Dr. Wills to advance education equity for all students, and after meeting with her, I am encouraged by her commitment to use her voice to advocate for the underserved and to listen to all the students, parents, and educators in the district.”