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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker and UW System near a deal regarding diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives

After months of statements made by the Wisconsin Assembly Speaker, Robin Vos, to cut $32 million from the Universities of Wisconsin (UW) System budget, the speaker and UW System are nearing a deal. 

In emails obtained by The Racquet Press, President of the UW System, Jay Rothman stated what this deal may entail. 

In his email, Rothman began by stating, “Today’s agreement reflects what we believe is in the best interest of our public universities to better serve students and the public given the situation.” 

Rothman stated the four central items that Vos required as conditions for enabling legislation and projects to move forward. Two of the four items directly addressed diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts throughout the UW System: 

  • “Capping and restructuring positions dealing with diversity, equity and inclusion; and 
  • Addressing specific issues connected to diversity and inclusion issues at the UWs.
    • UW Madison will seek philanthropic support to create an endowed chair, through a national search, on conservative political thought or a similar field; and
    • UW-Madison will not renew its Target of Opportunity Program focused on hiring diverse faculty; instead, it will broaden its recruitment and mentorship efforts; and
    • The UWs will eliminate any diversity statements in its admission applications; and
    • The UWs will develop a module on freedom of expression for entering undergraduate students.” 

As a part of the agreement, the Wisconsin Legislature would act on the approval of multiple budgeting requests across the UW System. 

Rothman stated near the end of his email, “As we made clear publicly throughout these discussions, our commitment to DEI remains. Diversity and inclusion are core values, but we are open to changing how some of these positions can more directly benefit student retention and graduation.” 

To send a statement to the UW Board of Regents regarding this deal or any other UW System concerns, you can email [email protected]

The Racquet Press will update this article as new information is presented. 

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About the Contributor
Jenasea Hameister, Managing Editor
Year at UWL: Senior PGPs: She/Her/Hers Hometown: Deforest, WI Major: Public Administration Minor: Legal Studies Other Campus Involvement: SUFAC Chair, La Crosse District Five Alderwoman, Honors Research Candidate, Political Science & Public Administration Association member Future Plans after Graduation: Pursuing advocacy journalism after graduation Favorite Activity in La Crosse: Yoga at Root Down and coffee afterward
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