Governor Scott Walker signed a bill on Tuesday, December 6, that gives each of the eight congressional districts a representative member on the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents to help manage and better understand the needs of each UW campus.
The statewide student association, the United Council of UW Students (UC), and the UW System Administration both support the new bill.
“We fully support this law,” said UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross.
“It primarily is a better representation of the state of Wisconsin,” said UC Comprehensive Caucus Representative Tyler Borkowski.
Borkowski noted that each of the campuses are different, like how UW-Madison is completely different from UW-Oshkosh. But now, all voices can be heard with individual representatives for each college on the state level decision-making process.
Before the bill, the majority of representation was held by the Madison and Milwaukee UW campuses because of their larger student populations. These two campuses were represented by 40 percent of the Board.
But supporters have been pushing for a newly formed geographical representation on the Board of Regents to even out the representation by location instead of population, giving smaller schools like UW-Stevens Point more sway in the Board of Regents’ decisions.
Borkowski said that the reason UC supports the new law is because it diversifies the Board of Regents from the previous system.
With better representation of the eight congressional districts, the UW System Board of Regents will get input on what those specific areas and their campuses need.
The governor will first appoint a new member to the Board on the new regional basis in 2013. Additional appointees will be made annually after that.
The signing took place at the UW-Marathon county Campus in Wausau with Dean and CEO Keith Montgomery.