The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Bill calls for Board members to be elected

State Assembly Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbotsford) is calling for a change to how the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents is selected.

“Currently, the Board is made up of political appointees,” Suder said. “They are out of touch with the common taxpayer.”

University chancellors make more money than the governor of Wisconsin, and the UW-Madison chancellor is set to receive a $58,000 raise, which is more than the district average, he said.

“The Board of Regents is living in a fantasy world where they can spend as much money as they want on whatever they want,” Suder said. “I urge people to take a look at the recent decisions the Board has made and see for themselves where their priorities are.”

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Suder proposed a bill in the drafting stage that would have the Board of Regents elected instead of appointed by the governor.

Electing the Board members, he said, will give a more regional perspective around the state and bring accountability to the Board as a whole.

Rep. Rob Kreibich (R-Eau Claire) said he would like to see the bill require a balance of representation from regions around Wisconsin, but the election races for each seat would be expensive, so there might not be a full balance around the state.

“Most of the Board of Regents’ members are millionaire lawyers from Madison and Milwaukee,” Kreibich said. “A lot of them see huge tuition hikes as acceptable, and that is reason enough that they cannot relate to the average family.”

“I think the appointee system isn’t bad because you are better assured of a person’s qualifications,” Student Senator Aaron Brewster said. “The way the members act really won’t change that much if they
are elected.”

The Board of Regents has nobody to answer to, Suder said.

They are out of control with spending money and are more concerned with padding executive’s pockets than making it easier for a college student to get an affordable education, he said.

Brewster said an elected Board of Regents would be more accountable to the public.

“A good point from electing the Board of Regents would be they would be more obliged to respond to the public’s wishes,” he said, “However, they might be more inclined to lower tuition and things like that just to get re-elected.”

The Board has decreased out-of-state tuition but has done nothing to help the students from Wisconsin and Minnesota, Suder said.

“There’s nothing wrong with injecting a little democracy into the Board of Regents,” Suder said.

“The point of the bill is that the Board needs some sort of reform. It certainly warrants a discussion and debate.”

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Bill calls for Board members to be elected