University of Wisconsin Regents Would Rather Lose $800 Million of Funding Than Submit to DEI Reforms – UPDATE: Deal Approved
“In a shocking turn of events, the board rejected the proposal 9 to 8, leaving over $800 million on the table”
*Scroll to bottom for update*
Republicans in Wisconsin have been negotiating with officials at the University of Wisconsin to scale back DEI policies at the various schools. Just a few days ago, it looked like they had a deal, but it apparently fell through at the last minute.
The Board of Regents rejected the deal in a vote of 9 to 8. This means that the school is going to lose out on $800 million in funding that was meant for salaries and raises for faculty.
Inside Higher Ed reports:
No End to Wisconsin’s Higher Ed Budget Standoff
A nearly six-month standoff between the Universities of Wisconsin and the Republican-led state Legislature over diversity, equity and inclusion spending seemed poised to end Saturday morning. The Board of Regents had agreed to vote on a deal between system leaders and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos that would freeze and cap DEI hiring in exchange for funding held up by the Legislature.
But in a shocking turn of events, the board rejected the proposal 9 to 8 , leaving over $800 million on the table and the future of the system’s DEI offices in limbo. The board also voted not to table the vote for further discussion, effectively killing the deal.
On Friday, UW system president Jay Rothman and UW Madison chancellor Jennifer Mnookin announced they’d reached a deal with Vos after weeks of secret negotiations. The system would make significant concessions on DEI initiatives and staffing in exchange for a release on much-needed funding for pay raises, utilities and construction projects—including a new engineering building at UW Madison—which the Legislature rejected last month.
“The agreement we’ve reached is the result of an arduous process,” Rothman said during a press conference Friday afternoon. “While it funds UW, it also makes compromises to get there.”…
Representative Dora Drake, a Democrat and member of the House’s Black caucus, told Inside Higher Ed that she did not expect the proposal to be defeated, but she was heartened.
“I was very surprised, but I feel very good about the board’s decision,” she said. “We’re making sure students of color feel welcome and protected at our universities.”
This is how obsessed progressives are with DEI policies. They’ll leave hundreds of millions of dollars on the table before they’ll let it go.
UPDATE: “In a shocking turn of events, the board rejected the proposal 9 to 8, leaving over $800 million on the table and the future of the system’s DEI offices in limbo. The board also voted not to table the vote for further discussion, effectively killing the deal.”… https://t.co/K08LBbRTFy
— Steve McGuire (@sfmcguire79) December 10, 2023
This is where we are — a major public university will walk away from $800 million and raises for all employees rather than restructure their DEI departments.
That’s so ideologically extreme, I’m not sure it can be fixed. https://t.co/CxaWIKTxxM
— Mark Hemingway (@Heminator) December 10, 2023
Just amazing. Here’s a video report:
UPDATE – 12/14/23: The Board of Regents has now accepted the deal.
The Associated Press reports:
University of Wisconsin regents back GOP deal for funding in exchange for limiting diversity efforts
In a surprising about-face, the Universities of Wisconsin regents approved a deal Wednesday evening with Republican legislators to limit diversity positions at the system’s two dozen campuses in exchange for money to cover staff raises and construction projects.
Assembly Republican Speaker Robin Vos, who brokered the deal with Universities of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman, tweeted that the plan is the first step in a continuing GOP effort “to eliminate these cancerous DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) practices on UW campuses.”
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers issued a lengthy statement after the vote saying the regents’ decision has left him disappointed and frustrated. He accused Vos of negotiating by bullying, saying the entire affair was motivated by his disdain for public education at every level. The governor promised that he would “make damn sure” that UW campuses work for everyone.
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