College News

Two fired Walker appointees return to work, receive Board of Regents president support

Two of the 82 appointees from former Gov. Scott Walker’s lame-duck December session returned to work at the Board of Regents after Gov. Tony Evers fired them last month.

Image By: Jon Yoon

After Gov. Tony Evers fired two UW System regents last month, Regents Scott Beightol and Torrey Teideman returned to work in open defiance of the governor Thursday.

In the December lame-duck period, former Gov. Scott Walker and Republican state senators confirmed 82 appointees. Beightol and Teideman were among them — and both ignored statements that he had “legally stripped them of their jobs,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

A Dane County judge found the session was illegal last month, and Evers later rescinded all 82 appointees. An appeals court stayed the ruling, causing Evers to reappoint 67 of them — not including Beightol and Tiedeman. 

However, Regents President John Behling, who was also a Walker appointee, remained supportive of their appointments. As usual, Beightol joined the regent capital planning committee Thursday morning. 

Both Beightol and Tiedeman took their seats with the regent finance committee without commenting on the status of their appointments. 

In order to prevent reporters from questioning Tiedeman, UW System officials led him into the meeting through a back door. No one on any committee asked either him or Beightol questions about their appointment. 

While Tiedeman declined to comment, Behling told reporters he believes the appeals court stay reinstated Beightol and Tiedeman to their positions prior to the meeting. He did not mention anything further nor discuss their positions in his opening remarks. 

They both joined in on a unanimous vote to increase UW System president salary range by 23 percent. 

Regent policies call for modifying executive salary ranges every biennium based on peer institutions like the University of California and State University of New York. The regent business and finance committee will now set the minimum salary at $489,443 and the maximum at $734,000 starting July 1. The current biennium’s salary starts at $399,000 and is capped at $598,500.

UW System President Ray Cross currently makes $525,000. He has declined raises since he began the position in 2014 and will continue to refuse them, according to UW System Spokesperson Mark Pitsch.  

He is currently the ninth highest-paid employee in the System, behind UW-Madison athletics department staff and a UW-Madison economics professor. 

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