Wednesday, December 13, 2023

And now another 180 at the UW

4 days ago, there was train wreck of a rushed meeting led to a the UW Board of Regents turning down a deal (on a 9-8 vote) with Assembly Speaker Robbin' Vos that would have recateogrized some Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) jobs and install an affirmative action position for right-wingers at UW-Madison.

Today, that same deal is moving ahead.

And in looking at what was agreed to, it seems to be the same deal as what was on the table on Saturday. I get why you would shrug and take the deal, but I also think that this is allowing Vos and other WisGOP dweebs to save face in something where they were losing in the court of public opinion, and on a gut level, I would have told those clowns to shove their ALEC BS right up their backsides.

The way this was handled was an absolute disaster, both in making the deal behind closed doors and possibly violating open meetings laws, and then in trying to rush the deal through on a weekend. In fact, State Superintendent Jill Underly (who serves on the Board of Regents) is out of the country on a prior arrangement, and asked the Board to delay the meeting, but they chose not to.

This is not a way to do business, either on the Regents' side, or in Robbin' Vos using his gerrymandered position to hold hostage the pay raises he and the Legislature already approved 6 months ago in the State Budget.

The last week up on Bascom Hill adds to a far-too long list of absurdities and power-grabbing crookedness that has made us just another state in flyover country that makes others ask "What is going on over there in Wisconsin?" This state is so badly in need of new maps and new leaders that'll get this state back to the progressive, pro-education place that made it such a special place to be from through 2010. Tony can't fix all of this damage on his own, folks.


  1. This reversal is absolutely despicable. Might as well call the University of Wisconsin "White Power" Wisconsin as the Regents clearly supported the overwhelmingly white "Captains of Industry" that sided with Robbin' Vos to make sure that programs that recruit and support UW students of color are decimated. I already advise most of my AP level science students to spurn UW-Madison for UM-Twin Cities. I hope every high school teacher in Wisconsin joins me in advising our high flying minority students, future engineers, mathematicians, medical professionals, etc... to leave "White Power" Wisconsin upon graduation.

  2. Ugh. Don’t tell your students to be Gophers. UW-Madison is still a great school and a great place to be at. And you’d be playing into the hands of Vos and these other GOP dbags, who want talented young people to leave the state so they have a better chance of winning statewide.

    But you do illustrate why the Madison campus needs to be its own separate entity. It has the donors, research grants, and other self-sustaining funding to pay for almost all of its expenses on their own. It doesn’t need to be used as a punching bag by the Legislature, who try to hurt Bucky (because Madtown has “those people”, you know), but instead injures the rest of the System in the process.

    This is another reason I would have held out against this deal, because Madison (especially) could have given their employees the raises on their own, and the other campuses (some in GOP districts) may not have, which would have put even more pressure on these GOP clowns.


    1. Part of the problem with "go it alone" is there are special requirements put on Land Grant universities. I have been begging for the UW to do this for a while, but when I researched the rules for Land Grant institutions, it is more difficult than just deciding to forgo state support.

  3. Absolutely a disheartening flip-flop by the Regents. But then the Regents and the Admin never do what's right. For years, upper administration went along with Walker. I remember Ray-Ray Cross telling UW faculty that they didn't work hard enough and should just accept pay and benefit cuts, cause that guy was always punching down. Heck, in this situation they had major leverage. The republicans had to have been taking heat for withholding funds for an engineering building at Madison; we all know how much the "bidness" types love engineering. Make them own that! Oh, and do it while actually standing up for DEI which is important not only as a matter of principle but also as a practical need for every modern business. For once, play some damn hardball!

  4. Sorry Jake-this DEI vote by the Regents to screw UW students of color is a message that deserves to be amplified. With full support by the WHITE Wisconsin Captains of Industry, Robbin' Vos said, "DEI is a cancer on our UW system and deserves to be eradicated". I'm thinking that students of color should find a college to attend where they aren't considered a "cancer" that needs to be eradicated. We're publishing a website in mid January 2024 that has a primary purpose of encouraging K12 teachers to flee Wisconsin; probably going to include a special focus on this DEI debacle to encourage teachers of color to flee the Republican dictatorship that is Wisconsin.