College News

UW System dollars could potentially be used to aid embattled UW-Oshkosh foundation

Taxpayer dollars may go towards covering the UW-Oshkosh foundation's debts.

Image By: Courtesy of UW-Oshkosh

Millions of taxpayer dollars could be used to finance the debts of the UW-Oshkosh foundation, a private nonprofit, if state officials and the foundation's creditors reach a settlement.

According to the The Wisconsin State Journal, Regent Michael Grebe said that UW was told by state Justice Department officials that the foundation’s failure to pay its creditors could result in banks approaching the System for the payment.

The potential deal comes after state Sen. Stephen Nass, R-Whitewater, said he was opposed to using state funds to pay the Oshkosh foundation’s debts in an email he sent out to reporters and UW System President Ray Cross Thursday.

“You need to keep your commitment that the public won't be forced to fund the inappropriate decisions of two campus administrators and the failed oversight of the System,” Nass wrote in the email.

In January, two former top officials at UW-Oshkosh were sued by the UW System and The Wisconsin Department of Justice for financing some of the foundation’s building projects through mishandled funds. The lawsuit also stated that the officials illegally transferred money from the UW-Oshkosh, a public institution, to the foundation, a private nonprofit.

UW spokesperson Stephanie Marquis told the Wisconsin State Journal the potential settlement would not affect the System’s lawsuit.

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