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A University of Wisconsin regent appointed by Republicans declines to resign at the end of his term

Tony Evers speaks before President Joe Biden (Via Christian Linardo/Getty Images)

A University of Wisconsin regent appointed by former Governor Scott Walker, Robert Atwell, has decided not to leave his position when his term ends this month. Atwell was appointed in May 2017 and his seven-year term is concluding soon.

In an email sent to University of Wisconsin President Jay Rothman, regents President Karen Walsh, and regents Executive Director Megan Wasley on Monday, Atwell stated that he will remain in his role until he decides to resign or until the state Senate confirms a new regent.

This decision comes after a 2022 state Supreme Court ruling stating that political appointees do not have to leave their positions until their successors are confirmed by the Senate. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos reminded Atwell of this, reinforcing his choice to stay on as a regent.

Joe Biden (Via Christian Linardo/Getty Images)

Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, has not yet named Atwell’s replacement. When asked about Atwell, Evers mentioned knowing him as someone with high personal integrity and expressed surprise at his decision to stay on.

A spokesperson for the UW system, Mark Pitsch, did not respond to a request for comment.

Atwell’s email also expressed concerns about the UW system’s financial reporting and criticized studies suggesting that graduates from UW schools earn more, describing them as shallow, inaccurate, and offensive to parents, students, and community institutions that contribute to young people’s development.

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