“The Assembly Speaker has very publicly held up UW legislative priorities and pay plan increases for University of Wisconsin employees over concerns raised both within his caucus and by constituents. Today’s agreement reflects what we believe to be in the best interests of the University of Wisconsin, and all Wisconsinites.”
Rothman addressed the deal during a media conference call, joined by UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin.
A key component of the agreement will be a system wide hiring freeze, along with the restructuring of about a third of the system’s diversity, equity and inclusion positions.
“What is important to note in this is no one is losing their job. Rather, those positions are being reimagined,” Rothman said. He conceded that some students and Democratic lawmakers will be unhappy with changes to DEI.
“Neither side at the end of the day has typically said this is the greatest thing since sliced bread, that’s just reality. But I think unbalanced we have found a point that this is in the best interests of our universities and I am pleased to be able to recommend it to the Board of Regents.”
The Regents will take up a resolution to approve the agreement in a meeting on Saturday.
“In recent years we’ve seen a growing emphasis on concepts that amplify ideas of division, exclusion, and indoctrination on our campuses,” Vos said in a statement. “Our caucus objective has always been aimed at dismantling the bureaucracy and division related to DEI and reprioritizing our universities towards an emphasis on what matters – student success and achievement. I’m proud that Wisconsin is the first state with divided government to make real progress on reducing these negative influences across our public higher education institutions.”