The University of Wisconsin System accepted an $800 million deal with the state legislature on Wednesday that requires them to slash their diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, according to the Associated Press.
The UW Board of Regents originally voted 9-8 against a deal that would give the university system $800 million for new infrastructure and employee pay raises in exchange for freezing the total number of DEI positions in the system. The board later reversed the decision and voted 11-6 in favor of the deal, which also orders the system to stop requiring diversity statements on student applications and will require UW Madison to end a race-based hiring program, according to the AP. (RELATED: House Committee Opens Investigation Into Antisemitism At Elite Universities After ‘Absolutely Unacceptable’ Testimony)
“I’m glad they approved the compromise tonight despite reported last-minute lobbying by Gov Evers to scuttle the deal. We finally have turned the corner and gotten real reforms enacted. Republicans know this is just the first step in what will be our continuing efforts to eliminate these cancerous DEI practices on UW campuses,” Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said in a Wednesday statement on X, formerly Twitter.
“I’m glad they approved the compromise tonight despite reported last-minute lobbying by Gov Evers to scuttle the deal. We finally have turned the corner and gotten real reforms enacted. Republicans know this is just the first step in what will be our continuing efforts to…
— Robin Vos (@repvos) December 14, 2023
The deal will also require 43 DEI positions to be restructured to focus on “student success,” according to the AP. The freeze on diversity hiring will last through 2026.
Three UW regents who originally opposed the deal, Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Jennifer Station and Karen Walsh, voted in favor of it on Wednesday, saying that they had needed more time to consider the matter, the AP reported.
“The very premise of this deal is a nonstarter,” Angela Adams, who voted against the deal twice, said, according to the AP. “I did not join this board to be thrust into political gamesmanship. Supporting DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) on campus is not something we should be exchanging, in my opinion, for dollars.”
Wisconsin’s Republican-controlled legislature withheld pay raises for the UW System in October and cut the system’s budget by $32 million in June, which is the amount they estimated the system spends on DEI over a 2-year period. Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers sued the legislature in November, claiming that Republicans were violating the state constitution and “obstructing basic government functions” by blocking raises.
The UW Board of Regents did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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