League Calls on Legislators to Reinstate DEI Funding
In June the Legislature voted, along partisan lines, to reduce UW System’s budget by $32 million as a way to cut diversity programs, positions, and activities across the 13 System universities. Now, the proposal aims to hold salary increases hostage toward that same end. This is ludicrous. It threatens our campuses and Wisconsin as a whole.
We urge the Legislators to maintain full funding for the UW system by reinstating the $32 million they propose to cut; to allow needed salary increases; and to cease the attack on diversity programs. The state University system should be allowed to continue its standards of excellence for all.
Fostering diversity brings strength. Supporting students, staff, and faculty from all backgrounds ensures their success. Educating students in diverse environments prepares them for their future workplaces. State legislators pushing this hateful agenda don’t have Wisconsin’s long-term interests at heart.
The Legislature’s actions are consistent with a wave of anti-diversity legislation sweeping across the United States. This summer over 30 bills have been considered in state legislatures. They have been signed into law in Florida, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas. States enacting such laws and implementing these anti-diversity measures are seeing an exodus of staff and faculty. Most noted is New College of Florida where more than one-third of their faculty have resigned.
This trend is misguided and it threatens our workplaces, our schools, and our future. Diversity and equity are positive values that should be encouraged. As stated in the University of Wisconsin Madison’s public statement:
Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation for UW–Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respect the profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience, status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. We commit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching, research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linked goals. The University of Wisconsin–Madison fulfills its public mission by creating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from every background — people who as students, faculty, and staff serve Wisconsin and the world. https://diversity.wisc.edu/
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin is a nonpartisan political organization that advocates for informed and active participation in government. There are 20 local Leagues throughout Wisconsin. More information at lwvwi.org.