Interim University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson says he won’t back down, in the face of demands by Republican lawmakers who want to weigh in on any campus COVID-19 protocols.
“I’m not abdicating my responsibility, and I will contest it aggressively,” Thompson said during a call with reporters on Tuesday.
“Even though I don’t want to pick a fight with the legislature, I am going to stand my ground to make sure that we maintain our colleges and make sure that our students are able to get the best education possible, in as safe and a healthy way as possible.”
Majority Republicans on the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules have directed the UW System to submit its pandemic protocols for approval. Thompson said that’s not going to happen, and predicted the UW will win if the issue ends up in court.
“We will contest it,” Thompson said. “I don’t want to fight with the legislature, but we will contest it aggressively, whether it be in the circuit court, court of appeals or the Supreme Court.”
Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules co-chair, state Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater), said he’ll ask legislative leaders to begin legal action against the UW System following a September 2nd deadline to submit those pandemic plans to the committee.