Evers reinstates 188 DEI-related UW System positions cut from GOP budget proposal 

On Wednesday, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed a GOP attempt to eliminate 188 UW System jobs related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) on campuses across the state, the Capital Times reports.

The move was one of 51 partial vetoes Evers made to the Republican-authored state budget proposal passed last week by both chambers of the Legislature. The budget includes a provision to pull $32 million from the state budget — roughly what the System spends on DEI efforts — and require it be put toward efforts that bolster the state workforce. The 188 positions can be used by the System for any purpose.

Even so, the governor has derided GOP attacks on DEI efforts.

UW System President Jay Rothman also gave testimony to lawmakers last month that DEI offices additionally support veterans, first-generation students, women in STEM, and people across the political spectrum.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos voiced disappointment with Evers’ decision to reinstate DEI positions.

The UW System can request the $32 million provided it is used for workforce initiatives, but it must be approved by the Republican-led Joint Finance Committee.