MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents today advanced a proposed administrative rule restricting free speech on campuses that includes threatening students with investigation, suspension or even expulsion for violations.
Appointees of former Gov. Scott Walker who remain on the Board of Regents have been pursuing the policy since 2017, and have admitted their efforts are designed to appease right-wing politicians like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.
Vos and others in the state legislature have been pushing policies originating from conservative organizations, underwritten by the Bradley Foundation and the Koch brothers, to crack down on students protesting hate speech on campuses and promote their right-wing ideology.
The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Institute Executive Director Analiese Eicher:
“The Board of Regents pandering to right-wing politicians is not protecting free speech on college campuses.
“While there have been no incidents in which right-wing speakers were unable to have their say, there have been ugly incidents of racism and harassment targeting students on the campuses which they pay to attend.
“The shameful response of the Regents is to try to put into state administrative rules a punitive crackdown on students speaking out while protecting hateful speech and promoting right-wing provocateurs and profiteers seeking to stoke division and create controversy.”