Connect with us


Wisconsin Sen. Brad Pfaff questions why UW has to negotiate with GOP over already promised raises and building projects, to cut diversity initiatives



FILE - Wisconsin Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos speaks during a news conference, Sept. 18, 2023, at American Family Field in Milwaukee. Vos said Monday, Dec. 11, 2023 that he is finished negotiating with the Universities of Wisconsin over a deal that would have given the system's employees a pay raise and paid for the construction of a new engineering building in exchange for reductions in staff positions focused on diversity, equity and inclusion. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, file)

It’s a lopsided negotiation that’s happening between the Universities of Wisconsin regents and Republican lawmakers over what’s been referred to as a culture war over Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives on campuses.

And Wisconsin state Sen. Brad Pfaff wonders why it’s even happening at all.

La Crosse Talk PM airs weekdays at 5:06 p.m. Listen on the WIZM app, online here, or on 92.3 FM / 1410 AM / 106.7 FM (north of Onalaska). Find all the podcasts here or subscribe to La Crosse Talk PM wherever you get your podcasts.

While Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Republicans want to cut DEI initiatives, the payoff for UW are things that should already have happened.

The Democrat out of Onalaska pointed out Tuesday on La Crosse Talk PM the UW employee pay raises being withheld were part of the GOP-budget that Gov. Tony Evers signed. And the UW-Madison engineering building that could get approved by cutting DEI already has bipartisan support.

“So, why is the University of Wisconsin System even engaging in a conversation with Robin Vos and members of the Legislature in regards to this other topic?” Pfaff asked.

Meanwhile, Vos and Republican demand is high for raises that were already promised and a UW-Madison engineering building that Pfaff, on the Wisconsin buildings commission, said would benefit the entire state.

Republicans want to:

  • Cut DEI positions
  • Create a “conservative thought” position
  • Create “student success” positions
  • Drop an affirmative action hiring program
  • And eliminate statements supporting diversity on student applications

Meanwhile, Pfaff also pointed out that Wisconsin has a $7 billion budget surplus — most of which has gone unused for nearly two years now.

Pfaff noted the engineering building at UW-Madison, as well as the UW-La Crosse Prairie Spring Science Center that’s been on hold for over five years, could both get approved already.

Pfaff added that budget surplus could get put to use on child care initiatives for working class families and to fight PFAS “forever chemical” problems in drinking water across the state, including the Town of Campbell on French Island, where residents have been on bottled water for over two years.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Walden

    December 13, 2023 at 11:20 am

    Apparently Pfaff doesn’t understand that the legislature is done talking about it. That means no more negotiating. Period.

    If you want your raises, rid the DEI crap.

    And forget about the additional science building at UWL. No means no.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *