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The 9 UW Regents Who Rejected $800M Include Evers’ Donors & Liberal Trial Lawyers

Who are the nine members of the UW Board of Regents who rejected a compromise deal that included $800 million in funding for the University of Wisconsin campuses and pay raises for 34,000 state workers?

They include major Democratic donors, including four donors to Gov. Tony Evers, liberal trial lawyers, a wealthy animal welfare donor, a former Democratic legislator, and two college students.

All are Evers’ appointees. Only two have management experience in higher ed. Two were previously diversity, equity and inclusion officials. Evers said in a statement that he supported their action. In short, they smack of largely ideological appointments, and appointments from Democratic donor circles.

On a 9-8 vote, the Regents rejected the compromise plan between legislative leaders and UW administrators.

They opposed shifting 43 diversity, equity and inclusion positions to focus on success for all students, and they did not want to freeze the number of DEI positions on University of Wisconsin campuses. In so doing, they killed a compromise plan that also included money for a new engineering building at UW-Madison, a series of other building projects at various campuses, $32 million for workforce development efforts in the UW, funding to continue Minnesota-Wisconsin tuition reciprocity, and a guarantee that top-performing Wisconsin high school students would be admitted to the UW. The rejected plan also included a pay raise for 34,000 state workers, 5,200 of them workers of color, among other provisions. Some of the provisions would have had to still make it through the Legislature, but leaders who control it had signed off on the compromise.

We believe the public has a right to know who made a decision of such consequence.

Here are the 9 Regents who voted to reject the plan, in no particular order:

1. Dr. Joan Prince: Former University DEI Official, Tony Evers’ Donor & Professor

Joan prince
Dr. Joan prince

Joan Prince bio, per Regents’ website:

-president of a global consulting firm “that works with top executive leaders on their most pressing issues. ”
-was vice chancellor of “global inclusion and engagement” at UW-Milwaukee and an associate professor of biomedical sciences
-was nominated by former President Barack Obama to the U.N. General Assembly as a public delegate with the honorary rank of ambassador.

-UWM described her as a “nationally renowned advocate for equity.” Served as the university’s “chief inclusion officer.”
-DNC host committee member “civic nonpartisan board”
-Led establishment of the first curriculum for anti-bias training at UWM
-4X graduate of UWM, starting at age 16
-“relentless advocacy for education equity
-Democratic donor to Tony Evers, Jim Doyle, Mandela Barnes, Tom Barrett, etc.

2. John W. Miller, Major Democratic Donor, Venture Capital Fund CEO, Tony Evers’ Donor

John w. Miller

John W. Miller bio from Regent website:

-founder of Arenberg Holdings, a Venture Capital fund
-Was a Congressional staffer for Democratic US Rep. Jerry Kleczka
-joined family’s farm equipment and manufacturing business
-serves on boards of Discovery World, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation, Bublr Bikes, Public Policy Forum, and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation committee.

-MAJOR Democratic donor to Democrats, including legislative Democrat and statewide Democratic candidates like Josh Kaul and Tony Evers
Listed as one of top donors to Wisconsin political parties (Democratic Party)
-Board member of Law Forward, the liberal legal group pushing redistricting and other lawsuits to the court
-Member of DNC host committee board
-Bought Jason Kidd’s mansion per Urban Milwaukee

3. Angela Adams, Former Diversity Officer, Democratic Donor, Corporate Leader

Angela adams

Angela Adams bio, per the Regents’ website:
-Goodwill executive and diversity officer (past)
-Worked in leadership for corporations and nonprofits like Ascension Wisconsin, Johnson Controls, and Pfizer.
-Board member for Froedtert Hospital, Carmen Schools, Africa American Leadership Alliance Milwaukee (AALAM), and the Sherman Phoenix Foundation.

-$1000 donor to Dem. WI Rep. Kalan Haywood
-Husband serves at Northwestern Mutual as Vice President of Field Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)

4. Edmund Manydeeds, Trial Lawyer

Edmund manydeeds

Edmund Manydeeds bio per the Regents’ website:

-attorney in Eau Claire (civil litigation, personal injury lawyer)
-Was a Regent for 7 years in 2010 also
-Reappointed in 2019

-member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
-was engaged in a contentious battle to be board president against then Regent Mike Grebe, a well-known conservative
-Told local news site he met with the police chief in Eau Claire “to discuss EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) issues.”
-Grandfather was honored as a military code talker during World War I.

5. Evan Brenkus, Student Regent

Evan brenkus

Evan Brenkus, a Tony Evers’ appointee who voted to kill $800m in funding to UW, pay raises for 34,000 workers, and a new engineering building in order to save 43 DEI positions.

Evan Brenkus bio (per Regents’ website):

-Student at UW-Green Bay pursuing major in First Nations studies and minor in math.
-Works for the Oneida Nation Language Immersion School
-Pulaski High grad

-No campaign donations.

6. Amy Blumenfeld Bogost, Trial Attorney, Democratic Donor

Amy blumenfeld bogost

Amy Blumenfeld Bogost Bio (from Regents’ website)

-Criminal defense and civil rights lawyer
-More recently focuses on federal Title IX cases
Note: She represented the women who accused former UW-Madison Badgers football player Quintez Cephus of sexual assault. She criticized the UW for reinstating him even after he was acquitted by a jury.

-Teaches at National trial Tribal College
-Board member for “Imagine a Child’s Capacity”
-Sits on the Milwaukee-based HIR Wellness Center Board, a nonprofit organization that believes in a multi-systemic and integrated approach to providing high-quality mental health and wellness care.

-Democratic donor to liberal Justice Rebecca Dallet, Mary Burke, Mahlon Mitchell, Tom Barrett, Jim Doyle.

7. Karen Walsh, Wealthy Animal Welfare Donor, Tony Evers’ Donor, Former Public Relations University Official

Karen walsh

Karen Walsh bio, per Regents’ website:

-Runs family foundation “dedicated to human and animal health and welfare.”
-Former reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio
-Worked PR for UW-Madison
-Was Assistant Dean for External Relations in the College of Engineering, directing alumni and donor communications, news media relations, and industry communications, for UW-Madison.
-Philanthropist of the Year from the Dane County Humane Society.
-President of Board of Regents

-“Walsh and her husband donated $10 million to the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 2015.”
-On board of Madison cat project
-Appears to be major Dem donor, including to Evers

8. Dana Wachs, Tony Evers’ Donor, Trial Lawyer, Former Democratic Legislator

Dana wachs

Dana Wachs bio per the Regents’ website:

-Personal injury and medical malpractice lawyer in Eau Claire
-Was a Democratic state legislator from 2013 to 2019

-Major Democratic donor, including to Tony Evers
-Successfully argued before Wisconsin Supreme Court to expand medical malpractice law. Has gotten $1 million plus settlements
-Briefly ran for governor but then dropped out and endorsed Evers
-Describes himself as “progressive Dem”

9. Jennifer Staton, Student Regent

Jennifer staton

Jennifer Staton bio, per Regents’ website:

-Current student at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Studying to be a physician assistant
-Served in US Army, was combat medic deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
-Selected by Evers as the non-traditional student member representative on the Board of Regents
-Told WTMJ she wanted to advocate for Hispanic community and be an advocate for other students
-No campaign donations

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