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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, June 22, 2024

Letter: Ward must heed shared governance


Our University has a long history of successful shared governance—something that we hold in high regard as active members of the student community. Unfortunately, Chancellor Ward recently violated shared governance statutes in his failure to acknowledge students’ voices regarding our contract with adidas.

As committee bylaws state, Chancellor Ward is required to follow the recommendations of the Labor Licensing Policy Committee (LLPC), or to explain in person to the Associated Students of Madison, the Faculty Senate, and the Academic Staff Assembly why he chooses to disregard their advice. In the case of adidas, Chancellor Ward has since ignored three recommendations from the LLPC to put adidas on notice for contract termination due to their failure to uphold labor codes of conduct. Furthermore, Ward has failed to explain his choice to ignore the wishes of students and the LLPC. His choice to pursue mediation is not an adequate substitute for putting adidas on notice. Under our contract, mediation practices and putting a company on notice are not mutually exclusive, which the administration is attempting to imply. Thus, we remind the Chancellor of the LLPC’s recommendation to put adidas on notice immediately.

Ward’s disregard for shared governance has persisted over the course of several months, with full consideration of how this stalling affects the daily lives of workers of the PT Kizone, an adidas subcontractor in Indonesia. Without the severance pay that they are owed, local communities are devastated, and families struggle to survive without the wages that they have been owed for over a year.

Students at UW have no interest in doing business with a company that violates its contract and mistreats its workers, and we as students expect the Chancellor to acknowledge our voice in this matter. Adidas has clearly violated its contract with the University of Wisconsin, and the next logical step is to put them on a 90 day notice, and ultimately cut the contract if they fail to remedy the situation.

We expect the Chancellor to uphold shared governance by putting adidas on notice immediately.

Sarah Blaskey, Beth Huang and Taylor Marx are all students at UW-Madison. Please send all feedback to

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