WPR and WPT to return to administrative home at UW-Madison
Wisconsin Pubic Television and Wisconsin Public Radio will return to its organizational home at UW-Madison.
The UW System Board of Regents Executive Committee approved a resolution Tuesday to return Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television to its administrative home at UW-Madison, according to a UW System press release.
The resolution, approved by the Regents’ Executive Committee, changes WPR and WPT broadcasting systems from UW-Extension to UW-Madison as part of UW System President Ray Cross’ restructuring plan, which will merge the system’s two-year and four-year colleges.
However, the restructuring plan originally called for WPR and WPT to operate under UW System Administration, Cross’s office. In November, state Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona, wrote a letter to Cross saying he worried about a “chilling effect of the free exchanges of ideas” because of this.
The plan also comes after an email where Cross criticized shared governance was made public by WPR, leading to frustration among some UW faculty members and students, as well as a vote of no-confidence in Cross from UW-Stout Student Senate.
“Getting hammered by the 'shared governance' leaders because they weren't involved in the process; however, had they been involved we wouldn't be doing anything!!” Cross wrote in his email.
In the release, Cross said the transition to UW-Madison will increase the programming WPR and WPT provides for K-12 schools, as well as foster close relationships with faculty at UW-Madison.
He said WPR and WPT will “remain under the purview of the Regents and UW System.” According to the release, WPR and WPT have operated under licenses held by the Board of Regents since their establishment.
However, Cross said both WPR and WPT will continue to operate independently and autonomously.
Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension said in the statement that WPR and WPT are “stronger than ever” and will continue to do well at UW-Madison.
“Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television have been vital to the fabric of this state for over a century and during that time they have continuously adapted, changed and grown,” Sandeen said. “I am confident WPR and WPT, along with their extraordinarily committed staff, will continue to thrive in their new administrative home at UW-Madison.”
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank also welcomed the resolution, saying public broadcasting is important to both UW-Madison and other Wisconsin communities.
“Public broadcasting was founded on the UW-Madison campus and was an important way in which we reached out to Wisconsin communities,” Blank said in the statement. “We look forward to welcoming them back home and furthering their work.”Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter