Students unite in rebuking UW System President

UW-Parkside to stand in solidarity with UW-Stout, UW-Marathon County and faculty groups


Keough Lemieux addresses PSG about comments made by UW System President Ray Cross

The UW-Parkside Student Government (PSG) intends to unite with student and faculty groups in a vote of ‘no confidence’ in UW System President Ray Cross at the weekly PSG meeting on Feb. 26 after he insinuated there would be no action if students were involved.

A vote of no confidence demonstrates that a voting body believes that an individual in a position of power lacks the ability, motivation, or commitment to the responsibilities of the position held, and therefore cannot lead properly or effectively. The resolution will serve to voice the concerns of the student body of UW-Parkside over comments made by Cross in regards to ‘shared governance’ in the merger process of two and four-year campuses.

When news of the merger hit campuses across the state, students across the state promptly requested a voice in this process in a joint statement under the Wisconsin State Legislation section 36.09(5).

This statute states that students “shall have primary responsibility for advising the chancellor regarding the formulation and review of policies concerning student life, services, and interests.”

Student’s were also assured by the Board of Regents that they would have a voice and have ample opportunity to be heard even if not involved in student government.

Cross wrote in an email correspondence to Regent Gerald Whitburn, “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!!” These comments were made after a UW-System Student Representatives (UWSSR) meeting when students requested two seats on the Steering Committee which would consult and guide the merger process.

In light of these comments, students and faculty view Cross comments as a dismissal. The statute of shared governance clearly indicates that students should have a say in this process, and so far there has been little indication that students have been and/or will be represented.

The concern is not necessarily about the merger itself. Acting PSG President Keough Lemieux wrote in an email to PSG Senate members clarifying that the issue is not about whether the merger is good or otherwise but rather, “the issue is that we [were] not included in the discussion of this plan that will have a lasting impact on our state.”

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