The University of Wisconsin is facing the prospect of choosing between maintaining its radical-leftist DEI (Diversity, Equity, Governance) policies or losing out on six percent pay raises over two years.
The pay raises, which were approved by Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), have been hamstrung by Republican efforts led by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). Wisconsin Republicans have previously attempted to defund and eliminate DEI associated positions at the university, only to be faced with a gubernatorial veto.
The pay raises for university system staff were authorized initially as a part of the 2023-25 budget. However, with the exception of certain raises for state employees, like public defenders and district attorneys, the raises require a legislative employment relations committee to act on the budget, a committee on which Speaker Vos is the co-chair. Accordingly, whether the raises even occur will likely fall to Vos’ and the committee’s discretion.
The total funds Vos has planned to withhold amount to $107.6 million, and he has said that the university system employees will not see a nickel of those funds until 188 DEI affiliated jobs are eliminated, adding “when I say a nickel, that’s what I mean.” Considering that Wisconsin’s majority-Republican state assembly had already approved the raise as part of the budget, it remains to be seen whether Vos’ fellow committee members will follow his lead.
Members of the university have voiced their complaints over the withholding of the funds for raises. University of Wisconsin La Crosse Associate Professor Stephen Mann derided Vos’ actions as “a political move in order to fulfill this agenda against DEI initiatives.” The hypocrisy of injecting political DEI policies into higher education, but accusing others of being political for trying to remove those political policies, was apparently lost on Prof. Mann.
After years of holding students hostage to DEI indoctrination, it seems like University of Wisconsin professors might be getting a taste of their own medicine.