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UW regents to vote again on DEI deal

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(The Center Square) – It looks like Universities of Wisconsin regents have changed their mind on the agreement with Republican lawmakers that would swap about 40 diversity, equity and inclusion jobs for nearly a billion-dollars from the state.

Regents are expectec to vote again Wednesday night on the DEI deal they rejected Saturday.

Board of Regents Vice President Amy Bogost on Tuesday joined two other regents in asking for another vote.

Bogost was one of nine regents who voted down the DEI deal over the weekend.

Since then, top Republicans have made it clear that the deal is a ‘take-it or leave-it’ proposition.

Senate Majority leader Devin LeMahieu said regents should reconsider, adding the university needs to “stop prioritizing woke liberal ideology over student achievement, and make the right decision on behalf of the university system and the state.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said on Monday he was open to allowing UW regents to change their minds. But he said he wasn’t willing to change the specifics of the deal.

“I will do everything in my power to make sure that we either enforce this deal, or we wait until the next budget to talk about it again,” Vos said. “We are not going to give the raises. We are not going to approve these new building programs. We are not going to approve the new money for the university unless they, at least, pass this deal.”

Gov. Tony Evers, who originally said he supported the regents’ vote, said he’s become bothered by the tone of the conversation around the second vote.

“I am disappointed in this process and recent days of threats regarding resignation and confirmation, ultimatums levied if discussions dare to continue, and legislative Republicans’ frequent refusal to work toward common ground when they don’t get their way,” the governor said in a statement. “The serious concerns that have been raised about this proposal and process – concerns that I share – deserve to be meaningfully heard and addressed.”

University President Jay Rothman said regents scheduled the vote after a closed-door meeting Tuesday. He refused to say just what the regents talked about, or how many regents may have changed their minds.

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