GOP-Appointed Regent Refuses to Step Down

( – Then-Governor Scott Walker appointed Robert Atwell to the University of Wisconsin (UW) Board of Regents in 2017. The conservative regent’s term is up at the end of May. Recently, he announced he planned to stay past his term.

On Monday, May 27, Atwell emailed Megan Wasley, regents executive director, and Jay Rothman, University of Wisconsin president, to inform them that Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told him that he could remain in his position until the state approves his replacement. The regent’s email stated he hoped his “temporary continuation” in the position would support communication between the regents and state legislature.

Atwell also aired grievances in the email, saying nobody ever told him how many UW staff and faculty quit their jobs or were terminated because they didn’t abide by the vaccine mandate put in place during the national health crisis. He also complained about studies that painted the UW system positively. The studies in question found UW graduates make more money because they attended a school within the system. Atwell called the claim “shallow, inaccurate and highly insulting to parents,” students, and everyone else in their own communities who helped them grow

Atwell will be allowed to stay in the position because of a previous ruling by the state Supreme Court in 2022. At that time, the Conservative majority on the court stated that political appointees could remain on the job until the Senate confirmed their successors.

The decision stemmed from Frederick Prehn’s refusal to leave his post as an appointee on the Natural Resources Board. He remained in the position for more than a year while the Senate confirmed his replacement.

Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) attempted to remove Prehn from the board via a lawsuit, but the court ruled against him.

Democratic Governor Tony Evers has not named a replacement for Atwell’s seat.

The governor said he had known Atwell to be “a person of high personal integrity,” but “something has changed.”

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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