University of Wisconsin regent who initially refused to resign due to conservative views ultimately steps down

Conservative University of Wisconsin regent Bob Atwell has finally resigned after initially refusing to step down even though his term had ended. This resignation clears the way for his successor, who was named by Democratic Governor Tony Evers to take his place.

Atwell, who was appointed in May 2017 by former Republican Governor Scott Walker, notified university leaders of his resignation on Monday. Initially, Atwell had stated that he would not step down until the state Senate confirmed his successor. However, Evers named his replacement last week, and with the Senate not scheduled to be in session until next year, Atwell decided to resign.

It is worth noting that regents can continue to serve without Senate confirmation as long as the person they are replacing has resigned. The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in 2022 that political appointees do not have to leave their posts until the Senate confirms their successor, a process that can often take months or even years.

Governor Evers expressed concerns about Atwell’s integrity following his initial decision not to resign, stating that it was problematic when games were played with Board of Regents members. Atwell, in his resignation email, expressed support for Evers’ appointment of bankruptcy attorney Tim Nixon to the board, along with two other board appointments.

Atwell attributed his decision to resign to concerns about the university’s relationship with the Legislature, stating that the UW system is in need of reform and a reset in its relationship with the people of Wisconsin. He also highlighted the importance of maintaining ethical conduct and clear thinking in public service.

In conclusion, Atwell’s resignation brings closure to a situation that had garnered attention for its political implications. The appointment of a new regent by Governor Evers signifies a change in leadership that aims to address the challenges facing the University of Wisconsin system, ushering in a new era of governance and collaboration.

Back To Top