A proposal at the Capitol seeks to make sure the UW System Board of Regents represents all corners of the state.
There are currently no restrictions on where the 14 citizen members of the UW Board of Regents come from. As a result, state Representative Jeff Smith (D-Eau Claire) says ten of those slots are filled by people from Milwaukee and Dane counties, even though those areas only contain about a quarter of Wisconsin's population.
Smith is co-sponsoring legislation that separates the state into seven regions, and requires at least one member of the Board to come from each of them. The districts would be based on the number of two and four year UW campuses in each area, rather than population.
During a hearing on the bill Wednesday, state Representative Gordon Hintz questioned if the measure could alter the goals of the Board by forcing them to focus more on regional interests. However, Smith says the change is needed to make sure all areas of the state have their interests represented within the UW System, while still focusing on maintaining a quality educational system.