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UW Regents adjourn special meeting with no answers on pay raises, DEI programs

Posted at 8:16 AM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 09:16:26-05

MADISON — No decision was announced after the University of Wisconsin regents held a special meeting Tuesday to discuss pay raises and diversity, equity, and inclusion programming.

The regents quickly moved into a closed session and ended the video conference for the media. About two and a half hours later the media contact for the board notified media that the regents never returned to open session and had adjourned.

The special meeting came after the regents voted narrowly to reject a deal between UW System President Jay Rothman and state Republicans. The deal would have provided nearly a billion dollars to cover pay raises and infrastructure. In exchange. the UW System would put a hiring freeze for all diversity positions through the end of 2026 and shift 43 current diversity positions.

Sydney Bohman, a student at UW-Milwaukee, said as an adult learner the DEI programs make it possible for her to get an education. She says the contention over pay raises for the faculty and staff she admires only adds to her frustration.

"There is a way to do both. You just have to take the time to look into it and stop politicizing. Look for a solution it's not politics," Bohman said. "It's asinine to me to want to not fund our subject matter experts and take money away from them and to not want to give people from all different backgrounds, better opportunities to get an education."

It is unclear what happens next. A spokesperson for the regents and Rothman did not respond to questions about the next steps.

According to the Board of Regents website, there are no other meetings scheduled for the remainder of 2023.